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Hogg aiming to end on high

Wooden spoon at stake in Rome

Last Updated: 15/03/12 3:15pm

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Stuart Hogg: Scotland's rookie full-back struggled in Dublin

Stuart Hogg: Scotland's rookie full-back struggled in Dublin

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Scotland's teenage full-back Stuart Hogg is determined to show his performance in Ireland was a blip and help secure a victory in Italy on Saturday to avoid finishing bottom of the RBS Six Nations.

After strong performances in defeat against Wales and France, the 19-year-old Glasgow Warriors back was starved of ball in attack in the 32-14 loss in Dublin, while also struggling under the high ball.

The result in Ireland leaves Scotland facing a wooden spoon decider in Rome this weekend and Hogg is eager to improve on his display after learning from coming up against Ireland's Lions full-back Rob Kearney, a player peerless under the high ball.

"I didn't have enough ball, but I think my confidence dropped a little after dropping a couple of high balls," said Hogg.

"As a full-back you've got to take them, no matter how much pressure you're under. Watch Rob Kearney, for instance.

"We had a slide up in the team presentation saying the Italians are close until they get to 50, 60 minutes. They're going to tire and I think our fitness will shine through then and hopefully we can outdo them there and come away with a good result."
Stuart Hogg Quotes of the week

"I base my game on him because he's unbelievable in the air.

"It's a target to get to - to be as good as him. Fingers crossed one day I can be as good as him."

Wary

Hogg, who is poised to win his fourth cap after recovering from groin and shoulder injuries to be named in the starting XV, is wary of Italy, who have also lost their four previous matches in the tournament, but believes Scotland have the quality to win.

"They've got some good players. (Italy captain Sergio) Parisse is one of the best number eights in the world," Hogg added.

"They've got a back line that changes all the time, but it never seems to fluster them.

"They're a really gutsy side. They never give up.

"We had a slide up in the team presentation saying the Italians are close until they get to 50, 60 minutes.

"They're going to tire and I think our fitness will shine through then and hopefully we can outdo them there and come away with a good result.

"Hopefully there will be a few tries for us. We've got some great finishers in the team - Max Evans, Nick De Luca and big Sean (Lamont)."

Scotland are seeking to avoid a seventh straight loss for the first time since 1998 by claiming just a third win in Rome.

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