JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

France survive Scotland scare

Date

Julien Guyer

SCOTLAND 17 FRANCE 23

Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg dives over to score the opening try.

Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg dives over to score the opening try. Photo: Stu Forster

EDINBURGH: World Cup finalists France overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Scotland 23-17 at Murrayfield here on Sunday and keep their hopes of a Six Nations Grand Slam alive.

Victory made it two wins out of two for the French, whose previous encounter against Ireland was postponed because of a frozen pitch in Paris.

But the cold truth on Sunday for an improved Scotland was they'd suffered a fifth straight defeat -- and third in as many matches this Six Nations.

Wesley Fofana of France crashes over for a try despite the tackle of Mike Blair.

Wesley Fofana of France crashes over for a try despite the tackle of Mike Blair. Photo: Reuters

Tries from teenager Stuart Hogg and wing Lee Jones gave Scotland hope but these were cancelled out by scores from France centre Wesley Fofana and full-back Maxime Medard, while scrum-half Morgan Parra kicked 10 points.

France captain Thierry Dusautoir admitted his side had been caught cold by the Scots, who lost much needed impetus when Edinburgh half-back duo Mike Blair and Greig Laidlaw went off injured either side of the interval.

"We were taken aback by by the rhythm and dynamism of the Scots in the opening 15 minutes," said the flanker, who was outstanding when he captained France in an 8-7 World Cup final defeat by the All Blacks.

Scotland's lock Richie Gray (L) vies with France's lock Pascal Pape (C) next to Scotland's Duncan Weir. Click for more photos

France scrape home against Scotland

France overcome a 10-point deficit to inflict more pain on Scotland. Photo: AFP

"We got back into it little by little and found our own rhythm and gradually asserted ourselves on the match against a really good Scottish side."

Scotland's Ross Rennie was named man-of-the-match after an impressive display but that was little consolation to the openside flanker.

"We put in another massive effort and to come away with nothing, everyone is pretty down. We made some good breaks and scored some good tries, but on turnover attack the French were awesome and we let them be good."

Greg Laidlaw kicks a conversion for Scotland.

Greg Laidlaw kicks a conversion for Scotland. Photo: AFP

Scotland spent the opening few minutes encamped in France's 22 but it looked like being an all-too familar story when, after several phases against resolute French defence, they knocked on.

But France knocked on themselves from the ensuing scrum and handed possession back to Scotland.

Laidlaw shifted the ball to the blindside and quick hands from Jones sent the diving full-back Hogg in at the right corner in the eighth minute as the 19-year-old, making his first Test start, became Scotland's youngest try-scorer in 79 years.

Laidlaw converted and Scotland were 7-0 up.

Blair then caused more panic in the visitors' defence with a quickly-taken tap penalty before Dusautoir dumped prop Geoff Cross with a shuddering hit.

Laidlaw then kicked a penalty from a ruck infringement after No 8 David Denton and captain Ross Ford had surged downfield and Scotland, against virtually all expectations, were 10-0 in front in the 26th minute.

France though eventually showed their class two minutes later when fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc went straight through an attempted challenge by Laidlaw.

Quick hands from Parra and Vincent Clerc then sent in Fofana, running a sharp angle, for what was the centre's second try in as many Tests.

Parra converted and Scotland's lead was down to 10-7.

Scotland then lost Rory Lamont after he landed awkwardly while contesting a re-start with Louis Picamoles and Robinson said later the Glasgow back had suffered a suspected broken leg.

One area where France were maintaining their anticipated advantage was the scrum and when Scotland collapsed the set-piece shortly before half-time, Parra kicked a 35 metre penalty.

But he missed another before the break as a breathless first half ended all square at 10-10.

After the frenetic opening 40 minutes, France resumed in more composed fashion with their pack driving through several phases before Scotland infringed. Parra kicked the 47th minute penalty and France, who had been 10 points behind, were now three in front at 13-10.

Even so, it was Scotland who scored the next try.

Flanker John Barclay forced a turnover at a ruck and was then back on his feet to feed Nick de Luca.

The ball was then worked to Jones as the wing went in for his first try for his country. Duncan Weir, on for the injured Laidlaw, kicked the conversion and Scotland were 17-13 ahead.

Scotland though were behind again within minutes.

France wing Julien Malzieu ran through the attempted challenge of Jones and released Medard for a try under the posts.

Parra added the simple conversion and France were 20-17 up heading into the final quarter.

Scotland then gifted France turnover ball and the visitors' drove deep into the 22, creating the platform for Lionel Beauxis to land a drop-goal that gave the French a six-point lead with 11 minutes remaining.

And that proved too much to overcome for Scotland, who at full-time were left facing yet another battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

FRANCE 23 (Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard tries; Morgan Parra 2 con, 2 pens; Lionel Beauxis drop goal) def SCOTLAND 17 (Stuart Hogg, Lee Jones tries; Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Weir con; Laidlaw pen). Referee: Wayne Barnes (ENG). Att: 67,144

AFP

Related Coverage

Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25 vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23 vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20 vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10 vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16 vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20 vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15 vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43 vs RED 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9 vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24 vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8 vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6 vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10 vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17 vs RED 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35 vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31 vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29 vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34 vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15 vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19 vs HUR 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48 vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10 vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29 vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16 vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25 vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35 vs LIO 33 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58 vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42 vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32 vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18 vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28 vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 25 vs BRU 24 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46 vs REB 29 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 22 vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33 vs SHA 18 Report Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO 20 vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24 vs HIG 45 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF 34 vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 5 vs HUR 29 Report Stats
WAR 32 vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3 vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 17 vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31 vs REB 15 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 35 vs HUR 18 Report Stats
BRU 22 vs BUL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 25 vs REB 21 Report Stats
HIG 36 vs CHF 9 Report Stats
FOR 10 vs RED 32 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 42 vs CHT 12 Report Stats
LIO 27 vs WAR 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 17:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 15:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 17:35EP
RED vs CHF 19:40SS
CHT vs WAR 23:00FSS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO vs LIO 01:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 17:35EP
REB vs FOR 19:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 15:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 17:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 19:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL vs CHT 01:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 14 12 2 0 126 57
Stormers 14 10 4 0 72 43
Waratahs 14 9 5 0 45 42
Highlanders 14 10 4 0 116 48
Brumbies 14 8 6 0 108 42
Lions 15 9 6 0 -22 40
Chiefs 14 9 5 0 60 44
Bulls 14 7 7 0 23 36
View all
 
Featured advertisers