Stuart sorry for Hogg(ing) red card
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 21:20
I always try to play hard and fair
Scotland's Stuart Hogg made a public apology after being sent off during his side's record Six Nations defeat by Wales in Cardiff at the weekend.
The fullback was given his marching orders at the Millennium Stadium by French referee Jerome Garces in the 22nd minute following a late shoulder charge into the face of Wales flyhalf Dan Biggar.
Garces initially produced a yellow card but, after viewing replays on the stadium's giant screen, changed it to a red.
Scotland, already seven points down and with captain Kelly Brown off the field with a head injury, then slumped to a 51-3 defeat - their heaviest loss to Wales and record reverse in the Six Nations against all opponents.
Wales scored seven tries in total, six after Hogg was dismissed, with the British and Irish Lion only the third Scotland player to be red-carded in a Test after Nathan Hines against the United States in 2002 and Scott Murray against Wales in 2006.
"I would like to apologise to my team-mates, the Scotland management and all Scotland supporters for what happened," Hogg said in a Scottish Rugby Union statement issued several hours after the match.
"I have let people down," he added. "I have said sorry in person to Dan Biggar and I have apologised to the referee Jerome Garces.
"I always try to play hard and fair, and what happened was out of character for me.
"Once again, I am very sorry."
Hogg will now face a disciplinary hearing and could receive an additional ban for his foul play which would apply to all matches, not just internationals.
Earlier, Scotland coach Scott Johnson said Hogg was full of remorse for his actions.
"He feels he has let the boys down," Johnson explained.
"It was totally out of character.
"He certainly isn't a dirty player --that's for sure," the Australian added.
It was a view echoed by Wales boss Warren Gatland, who coached Hogg on last year's victorious British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.
"You've got to feel sorry for Stuart because he's not that sort of player at all," Gatland said. "It's a rush of blood and he's made a mistake."
Garces' action in upgrading the card he showed Hogg after watching a replay while unusual was permissible under International Rugby Board regulations and Johnson for one had no complaints.
"As soon as I saw the yellow I was thinking of something else," Johnson said. "I can only do what is put in front of us there, so the judicial stuff I'll leave - my job is to compete on the back of that.
"He [Garces] is a good referee and a good adjudicator."
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