Rugby League: Blame Me for Ruining Hopes of a Comeback; RUGBY: SIX NATIONS SPECIAL... WRITES EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU
Byline: Ally Hogg
SCOTLAND fans must have thrown up their arms in frustration at the manner of Italy's first victory on the road in their RBS Six Nations history.
I'll put my hands up too - and admit to the mistake that probably cost us the chance of the most unlikely comeback the competition has seen in recent years.
I'm still hurting from the decision not to come and take the Italian kick-off moments after Chris Paterson's try had put us within seven points of our opponents at Murrayfield.
There were 15 minutes remaining when skipper Mossy broke the Italian line and added the conversion to make the score 24-17.
It was a time in the second half when we needed to return the ball deep into Italian territory and put them under pressure at a stage of the game when they may have been at their most vulnerable.
I can still see the kick-off now and I judged its flight to be heading in the direction of Chris Cusiter, so I stepped off to the side, only to see it drift away from our scrumhalf at the last moment.
I should then have stepped forward and taken it but instead I made the mistake of allowing the ball to bounce out of play, the Italians won the resulting lineout and an Andrea Scanavacca penalty moments later allowed the visitors breathing space.
My mistake was a turning point in the game and I must learn not to assume where the ball is going to go and stay late as a result.
Had we taken that kickoff and gone back up the field it would have made a massive difference but we're left with what-ifs as a souvenir of a bruising battle.
It's frustrating for me, especially as I was given my longest run in the championship this season and I felt I contributed well and made an impact during my first 10 minutes on the pitch, only to end up putting the team under pressure. …