Planet Rugby

Hogg not a dirty player - Johnson

15th March 2014 19:40

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JEROME GARCES STUART HOGG WALES SCOTLAND

Off: Stuart Hogg

Scotland boss Scott Johnson is adamant sent-off full-back Stuart Hogg is not a dirty player after his side were thumped by Wales.

The British and Irish Lion was dismissed just 22 minutes into Saturday's 51-3 hammering, his ordering off playing a major part of the defeat.

French referee Jerome Garces originally deemed Hogg's mid-air shoulder charge to the face of Dan Bigger a yellow card offence. But after viewing the incident on the big screen, the official called Hogg back to issue a red.

"He's really down about it," said Johnson.

"He's taking it tough. He's an emotional lad and that emotion is a good thing, and in this case he is feeling he has let the boys down. He's got to face reality that he has been caught doing something, he's got a proper tribunal to front and show his case. So he's in a dark place but that's just life. He has got to confront it.

The Australian admitted Scotland would have struggled to match Wales regardless of the emphatic scoreline.

"It wouldn't have been the same result, as in the scoreboard," added Johnson.

"I thought we were in the contest but full-back is a hell of a position to fill for that length of time. If it's a forward you can cover it but it's harder to cover a back division player, and once they were on a roll they played some pretty good rugby, too. But it felt like there was a lot of field to cover and was difficult for us."

Hogg's Lions boss Warren Gatland concurred with Johnson's appraisal of the Borderer.

"You've got to feel sorry for Stuart because he is not that sort of player at all," said Gatland..

"It is a rush of blood, and he's made a mistake.

"From our point of view, we are not going to dwell on that. I don't think you will see that from him again.

"He has made a mistake. It's a collision sport. From our point of view there are no hard feelings."

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