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'That Was Pathetic' Pundits Critical Of Scotland Duo After Six Nations Loss

'That Was Pathetic' Pundits Critical Of Scotland Duo After Six Nations Loss
By Jonathan Byrne

Agent Scotland is no more. The Scots fell to a streaking French side 37-16 at Murrayfield in the Six Nations.

It means France arepathetic in pole position now to earn a Grand Slam win with just Wales and England in their way of ending the competition without a defeat.

The game started well for France, thanks to tries from Paul Willemse and Yoram Moefana. However, Scotland fought back with a try ruled out by the TMO.

Not long after, Rory Darge found his way over the try line for Scotland and things were looking up for the home side. Then they had a chance to pull ahead.

With the scoreline of 12-10 to France, Duhan van der Merwe made a brilliant break away into French territory only for Stuart Hogg to fumble a pass to kill the momentum.

Minutes later, Gael Fickou made a fine run to extend France's lead and Scotland had a hill to climb as the first-half whistle sounded.

Unfortunately, Scotland failed to show much of a fight in the second half, as France further went ahead thanks to Jonathan Danty.

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They weren't helped by the pristine boot of Melvyn Jaminet either, who was in fine form. Two further second-half tries and Scotland left with their heads hanging.

Pundits On Scotland Duo

The Virgin Media pundits gave deserved praise to France, but they were also critical of Scotland's performance and two of their key men in particular.

They gave their two cents on the performances of Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, arguably their two best players who didn't make a good account of themselves.

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"Captain of the team, along with other big key members of this team not stepping up. On the big day, they're the ones that need to perform," Rob Kearney said of Hogg.

"He's a fullback who closes the gate early. Teams will know when they're analysing that he leaves a lot of space in the backfield. He's caught badly out of position," he added.

Hogg was criticised not only for the fumbled carry in the first half but his positioning at times during the Six Nations encounter.

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Shane Horgan had a fairly damning assessment of Hogg:

I think he makes one or two big mistakes every game. I really like the way he plays, I think he's really exciting. He wants to get involved he makes lots of breaks. He's really passionate and he's really committed to Scotland and he works really hard but he makes one or two errors every game. He's not the complete player. He has a little bit of a weakness on his inside shoulder when defending. He has the occasional terrible day on the high ball, which we have seen with the Lions. His positional sense isn't great. We saw him drop that ball. Even going back a couple of years ago with the try against Ireland which he dropped on the line. They're crucial errors. If you want to be an outstanding, world class player, which I think he is and capable of being, you can't allow those elements into your game and he consistently does it. As your top player, he can't.

The Virgin Media pundits weren't impressed by Finn Russell either, who lazily kicked the ball straight to Antoine Dupont early on which led to a French try.

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With Scotland going into the Six Nations as favoured as ever this year, Shane Horgan and Rob Kearney think Russell failed to show a lack of leadership on the pitch.

"That is actually pathetic, for your top player, your talisman. Five minutes into the game. He doesn't have an injury. He's not fatigued. You've got a guy like Rory Darge killing himself around the field," Horgan said.

Horgan continued:

Then you've got your best player performing like that. There's no way any team can win consistently if you've got players doing that. It's like what France were doing in their dark ages. That's gone out of the French team. You'd never see a Springbok doing that. You'd never see an All Black doing that. If Finn Russell counts himself as a really top player, have a look at the best players of the last ten years. Look at the Brian O'Driscoll's, the generational players, the Dan Carters', the Jonny Wilkinson's. They were so hard working. That was pathetic.

Rob Kearney added his take. "When that comes up on the big screen in front of your teammates, and your indirectly saying, 'I don't really care about this team'"

"'I'm not going to work as hard as I can.' That's not good enough. It's humiliating."

See Also: D'Arcy And McKinley Not Convinced That Six Nations Is Ready For Relegation System

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