Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby World Cup

Scots are in need of a lift ahead of clash with Samoa

By Andy Newport

Stuart Hogg has promised Scotland's rugby team will put a smile back on the faces of the Tartan Army after watching their football counterparts suffer Euro 2016 anguish.

Gordon Strachan's side saw hopes of reaching a first major tournament in 18 years crumble on Thursday night when they were held to a 2-2 draw with Poland at Hampden.

But it is a different story for the nation's rugby representatives, who can fire themselves into the World Cup quarter-finals if they beat Samoa in Newcastle today. Hogg knows the Scotland support are hurting after their latest qualification nightmare but hopes his team can sooth their pain by marching into the knock-out rounds. The Glasgow full-back said: "We love our sport in Scotland so it was bitterly disappointing that the football boys couldn't qualify.

"I watched the game and there was a lot of passion involved. Hopefully we can have exactly the same and really lift the nation again.

"I room with Sean Lamont so I watched it with him and Greig Laidlaw. We've got a cup-of-tea club after dinner so we sat and watched the football and little 'Greeg' was going daft at the telly. It was disappointing to see them lose but I thought it was a good performance."

Samoa's hopes of clinching a knock-out slot are already finished after back-to-back losses against the South Africans and Japan. But Hogg added: "The longer these teams stay in a game the quicker they grow arms and legs. You have to shut them down."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph