Prop Rory Sutherland says Stuart Hogg has made a “fantastic” job of stepping up to captain Scotland and proved it with his wonder try against Italy.
Hogg conjured a sensational solo score to set Scotland on their way to a win.
The blistering effort in Rome followed high-profile errors in defeats to Ireland and England that had some asking whether Hogg was being weighed down by the pressures of his new role.
“He’s been flung in the deep end and done really well,” said Sutherland.
“A lot of people have been talking about Hoggy’s mistakes but he’s made a fantastic jump into that captain’s role.
“I don’t like it when people talk about his mistakes because you’ve got to look at what he’s done for Scotland. Hoggy’s done a hell of a lot and he deserves to be where he is.
“I’m really pleased to see him back on form and getting that try.”
Sutherland delivered another solid display in the front row to continue his impressive form since being brought back from the international wilderness as Scotland picked up their first win of the campaign.
After three injury-ravaged years, the 27-year-old Edinburgh prop has become a key cog in a much-improved scrum, and the win in the Stadio Olimpico was his first taste of victory in a Scotland jersey for some time.
“The last one was four years ago in Japan – it feels really good,” Sutherland said.
“I’m just grateful to be given the chance to be back involved. On a personal level, I’ve been really happy with my performances and I’ve just got to keep a bit of consistency in my game now and keep backing it up.
“When I was injured it was always something that kept me going, I was thinking about playing for Scotland again. That was the goal. Putting little goals in place to reach that final goal.
“I’ve had a couple of tough seasons, I’ve not played a lot of rugby but I feel I’ve taken the opportunities that I’ve been given. It’s nice to be back at this level and playing some good rugby.
“Hopefully I get another opportunity in that starting jersey against France.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport