We will worry teams at World Cup, says Hogg

Scotland's full-back beats the drum ahead of his country's crucial showdown with Tonga

For the Scots, defeat by South Africa could be the prelude to a Rugby World Cup disaster, but in the immediate aftermath, there was an air of defiance around the camp. "We will be in the third tier of seeds, but nobody will fancy being in our pool," was a typical reaction – in this case from Stuart Hogg, their young full-back.

The position mirrors that of four years ago. Then, as now, the Scots could have climbed into the top eight in the world rankings by beating South Africa but failed to do so. They went into the World Cup draw in December as a third tier side, got England and Argentina in their group, lost to both countries and, for the first time in the tournament's history, came home at the end of the pool stage.

"We are not far away at all, we are going in the right direction and are building from our horrendous Six Nations," maintained Hogg. "I hope we can just keep climbing up and climbing up. I think every team is going to be looking to avoid us in the World Cup. We are definitely going in the right direction and one day somebody is going to get an absolute trouncing from us; I hope it starts next week."

The Scots play Tonga in Aberdeen next week, with Samoa's performance against Wales ringing all kinds of alarm bells amidst the knowledge that, were they to lose, they would drop out of the top 10 altogether, adding spice and relevance to the encounter.

It will be task made that much tougher by the possibility that Richie Gray, the towering lock who went off in the 21-10 defeat to the Sprinboks on Saturday with concussion, may miss the next game as a result.

"We've got to learn lessons from the last two games played – and quickly," was the reaction from Sean Lamont, the wing.

"We can hopefully finish the campaign with a win against Tonga. To be honest at the moment it's just about wins – it always is with Scotland. We've missed out on two good chances already, simply by not doing the things we were supposed to do."

The frustration for players and coaches alike was that for the first 50 minutes on Saturday they did not play as they had in training – or were not allowed to play that way as South Africa bullied them out of the game – but that once they got it right, they demonstrated that they were more than capable of living with second-ranked team in the world.

"The physicality of their defence put our decision-making under that little bit of extra pressure," acknowledged Andy Robinson, the Scotland head coach.

"We have shown that we can perform against the two best sides in the world, but we have also shown that if we don't do it for 80 minutes it will count against you.

"They gave us a master-class in how to dominate territory and how to take the sting out of the other side," added Robinson.

In the meantime, he says he is not even thinking about the World Cup draw. Tonga is suddenly looming as a vital challenge to regain the confidence built up during the unbeaten summer tour.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style