Six Nations: France v Scotland

Ireland's conquerors Scotland take on a resurgent French side at the Stade de France

Patrick Madden Sun, Feb 12
 
LIVE: Six Nations: France v Scotland

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  • Good afternoon!

    Today Ireland's conquerors Scotland travel to face a resurgent France at the Stade de France.

    Vern Cotter's side showed an impressive blend of flair and grit in Edinburgh to notch up an opening weekend win and justify their tag of championship dark horses.

    Meanwhile Les Bleus were edged out at Twickenham by England - but they showed enough to suggest they might be returning to their mercurial best under Guy Noves.

    Ths Scots haven't won in Paris this millennium - but with the sublime Stuart Hogg in the saddle there's every chance they could be partying like it's 1999.

    It's a thoroughly miserable and bitter day outside, but this one should warm the cockles.

    Come on!!!

  • TEAMS:

    France: Scott Spedding; Noa Nakaitaci, Remi Lamerat, Gael Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa; Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin; Cyril Baille, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Uini Atonio; Sebastien Vahaamahina, Yoann Maestri; Loann Goujon, Kevin Gourdon, Louis Picamoles. Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Rabah Slimani, Xavier Chiocci, Julian Le Devedec, Damien Chouly, Maxime Machenaud, Jean-Marc Doussain, Yoann Huget.

    Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Greg Laidlaw; Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Zander Ferguson, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Josh Strauss. Replacements: Ross Ford, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Tim Swinson, John Hardie, Ali Price, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett.

  • There's real potential for a thriller this afternoon.

    Scotland were brilliant in the opening half against Ireland, and showed serious guts to stick their noses in front after their 13-point lead had been slowly chipped away by the visitors. In Hogg they possess Europe's best fullback, while their backrow - particularly Hamish Watson and Ryan Wilson - was also very good. And then there are the totemic Gray brothers at lock - Jonny made a Scottish record 28 tackles at Murrayfield.

    And he will need to produce something similar today against a physically imposing French side. They gave England a real scare at Twickenham, only to run out of gas in the closing stages. Louis Picamoles was a monster in that, while Virimi Vakatawa was a constant threat on the wing.

    Take your pick.

  • In Italy Ireland women have made it a double success this weekend, running out 27-3 winners.
  • The teams are out in Paris!
  • We're underway!
  • 1 min: Jonny Gray claims the restart brilliantly but Scotland are turned over just outside of their 22. They are reprieved though when France get pinged at the ruck, and the penalty is kicked up to the French 10.
  • 2 min: Scotland getting good clean ball, Seymour running a good line back inside. Strauss makes a few carries before Fagerson spills it forward on halfway. Good line speed from France.
  • 3 min: Lovely play from France, Nakaitaci making half a break and then Fickou sweeping it right and the hosts are into the 22. Cerin makes a mistake at the base and Dell swoops in, popping it to Maitland on the left wing who carries deep into French territory before being hauled down. France then turn it over and a looped ball is almost intercepted.  

    Frantic.

  • 4 min: The French scrum withstands its first test and Lopez sends it high - Maitland is solid under the ball. Scotland's attack breaks down and Lopez sends a good kick in behind but Hogg is across to cover and clear to halfway.
  • 5 min: France go long at the lineout and have possession on the Scottish 22. The visitors look to have turned it over but Strauss is penalised and Lopez has a chance to open the scoring.

    Good kick.

    6 MIN: FRANCE 3 SCOTLAND 0

  • 7 min: Good Scottish chase from the restart but Vakatawa does well under pressure. France have numbers right and use them, Fickou delaying a lovely pass to Spedding, but he tries to offload and Scotland win a scrum on the French 22.  
  • 8 min: France get a big shunt on at the scrum and Strauss can't hold it at the base. France scrum.
  • 10 min: The scrum takes an age and when it's finally set Scotland concede a free kick. Lopez kicks high and Hogg claims and makes a few yards.
  • 10 MIN: FRANCE 3 SCOTLAND 0
  • 11 min: Scottish possession in the middle of the pitch and Fagerson gets emptied by Picamoles. Static ball for Scotland and Hogg drills a poor kick straight to Spedding. He clears to halfway.
  • 12 min: Brown's throw is too long and Picamoles picks up the loose ball and spins it wide. France get it through the hands to Nakaitaci but he is herded into touch by Maitland and Jones.  

    From the lineout Russell puts a good kick in behind but France take it quickly. They make a hash of it though and Scotland win a lineout just inside the 22.

  • 14 min: Scotland try the maul but have little momentum and move it left to Hogg. Scotland retaining the ball well inside the French 22 but making little ground. They're up to 12 phases, trying to hammer their way through.
  • TRY SCOTLAND!!!!!!!
  • Guess who? It's patient play from Scotland until they know a penalty is coming and they open up. A wide ball bounces to Jones who steps and straightens up before finding Hogg. He has a man outside him but steps Cerin brilliantly instead and dives over in the corner.

    Laidlaw hits the bar with the touchline conversion, unlucky.

    17 MIN: FRANCE 3 SCOTLAND 5

  • 18 min: France back on the front foot, with Lamerat and then Picamoles making big carries - it takes both Gray brothers to haul down the Northampton number eight. Penalty to France after Watson blocks Cerin off the ball.

    Lopez can put France back in front - and he does so.

    20 MIN: FRANCE 6 SCOTLAND 5

  • 21 min: Big carry from Gourdon out of his own 22. France playing their way out but twice the ball goes loose, albeit backwards. Scotland dogged at the breakdown and France are a bit frantic, looking to keep it alive rather than playing the percentages. Laidlaw tries to hack forward another loose ball but there's a Scottish knock on.
  • 22 min: France well on top at the scrum - Picamoles nursing the ball until the penalty is awarded. There's a forward pass to Lamerat, so play is brought back and Lopez finds a good touch.
  • 23 min: Good French maul and Picamoles snipes through the middle and barrels his way into the Scottish 22 - but he's isolated and gets pinged for holding on.
  • 24 min: The penalty is sent to halfway. Early change for Scotland, Laidlaw forced off. Scotland maul from the lineout but France drive them back. Russell puts up a poor garryowen and France emerge with the ball when it finally drops.
  • 25 min: France looking dangerous, Fickou with an excellent offload. Lopez carries but France get pinged for crossing. And then there's a bit of handbags and the penalty is reversed after scrum half Price shoved Lopez who had taken the ball. Stupid.

    Good chance for Lopez but he hits the post and Hogg clears, Scotland off the hook.

  • 28 min: Nice passage of play, a cute Scottish offload goes forward and Nakaitaci pounces and looks right, France finding the wing with a series of neat passes and offloads. France up towards the 22 and Lamerat finds Fickou who makes good ground on the right.
  • 29 min: France trying to turn the screw and keeping the ball alive, Spedding darting in off the left wing and being held up. France camped on the Scottish five with a penalty coming.
  • TRY FRANCE!!!!!!
  • Relentless from France. They try hammering their way over and then move it, Lopez straightening up and being tackled short. It's recycled to Fickou who ducks and darts and reaches to touch it down. Brilliant pressure and execution.

    Great touchline conversion from Lopez.

    31 MIN: FRANCE 13 SCOTLAND 5

  • 32 min: And now Scotland fight back after France fail to deal with the restart, Watson wriggling his way inside the French five-metre. The visitors have a penalty coming but they look to force their way over. It's moved to Russell who steps and is scragged just short. Back for the penalty.

    With Laidlaw off Russell will kick at goal, and he slots it.

    35 MIN: FRANCE 13 SCOTLAND 8

  • 36 min: Good kick chase from Russell and he clatters Nakaitaci who does well to hold onto it. But then Dunbar does excellently locking in at the breakdown after Jonny Gray tackled Vahaamahina and winning a penalty.

    Russell to reduce the gap to two points - makes no mistake.

    38 MIN: FRANCE 13 SCOTLAND 11

  • 39 min: France have possession in the Scottish 22 as they look to force a late score. Antonio tries to batter his way throguh before a knock on brings the opening half to an end.
  • HT: FRANCE 13 SCOTLAND 11
  • The teams are back out in Paris.
  • Russell gets us back underway.
  • 41 min: Gourdon fields the kick and France look to play from deep. Scotland making it difficult for them on the deck before the whistle is blown after a knock of heads between Goujon and Hardie.  
  • 41 min: After a break play resumes with a French scrum. Scotland struggling at the set piece again and France win a penalty. Lineout inside the Scotland half.
  • 42 min: Good lineout ball for France but then Scotland force a penalty on the deck which Price taps quickly.
  • TRY SCOTLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • A score from nothing. Seymour has the ball on the right after Russell offloads and kicks hopefully ahead. He chases well and a wicked bounce sees it fall for him under the posts and he pops off to the supporting Swinson who crashes over.

    Russell somehow manages to miss the conversion from under the posts.

    44 MIN: FRANCE 13 SCOTLAND 16

  • 45 min: This is bedlam and France nearly strike back straight away, Guirado carrying on a good line and offloading to Lamerat. Scotland are stretched and concede a penalty. France's move breaks down on the right and Lopez will kick at goal.

    Easy, and it's all square.

    46 MIN: FRANCE 16 SCOTLAND 16

  • 48 min: Another big scrum on halfway from France, grinding their way forward and forcing Scotland into conceding a penalty.

    Scotland to have a go form the halfway line, but he pulls it.

  • 50 min: France on the fornt foot abd Guirado carries into the Scottish 22. But then a bad knock on at first receiver sees them concede possession. Scotland don't want a scrum and look to play it out. It's back with France but Lamerat passes to a dark blue shirt. Hogg chips ahead down the line and Maitland gathers.
  • 53 min: Scotland struggle at the scrum again and grind into the Scottish half - but then they softly give up the ball again, Goujon pinged for holding on.

    Hogg will have a go at the posts from inside his own half, but like Spedding he hooks it.

  • 56 min: Good kick over the top from Machenaud putting Scotland under pressure but France are then pinged for coming in at the side. Hogg finds a good touch from a very tight angle.
  • 57 min: Good ball off the top for Scotland and they move it infield where Strauss makes good yards. Scotland into the French half looking to build. Russell is tempted by a kick but keeps it in hand instead. Good French defence, slowing the Scottish ball down and driving them back.
  • 58 min: Scotland up to 11 phases but it's very slow and France pinch it through Gourdon, the ball popped off to Guirado. France have men over on the left but Picamoles throws a terrible pass to Fickou and it's a Scottish scrum.
  • 60 MIN: FRANCE 16 SCOTLAND 16
  • 60 min: Finally relief for Scotland at the scrum as they are awarded a free kick. Strauss taps and goes and thumps into Goujon who looks to be in a bit of a pickle.
  • 61 min: Price gets caught napping at the base and Picamoles is over the top but he gets done for offside. Russell finds touch just short of the 22.
  • 62 min: Scotland set the maul but it goes sideways and then back. They get done for accidental obstruction and France have a scrum. Bit of afters there between Jonny Gray and Vahaamahina.
  • 63 min: Scrum penalty to France and Spedding hoofs it into touch.
  • 64 min: France maul and peel their way into the Scottish 22, with a penalty advantage. Lamerat runs a good line but then throws a wild pass to a Scottish shirt. France turn down the three points and Lopez kicks to the corner.
  • 65 min: France maul infield and Scotland counter well. The hosts are just short of the line with an advantage coming and Scotland's defence is desperate. They have men over but Huget straightens up. Scotland digging in and play breaks down, but France have a penalty.
  • 66 min: France opt for a scrum under the posts - chance to put a real squeeze on. Scotland hold firm and Picamoles pops to it to Machenaud and he finds Lamerat who batters through on an inside line but looks to have lost it as he tries to touch down. A clearing Scottish kick is then charged down and the referee asks the TMO to check Lamerat's grounding. It's close but no try. Scottish five-metre.
  • 68 min: France but a big shunt on but the drive is angled and they concede a penalty. Scotland reprieved. Russell clears well.
  • 70 MIN: FRANCE 16 SCOTLAND 16
  • 70 min: Scotland win their lineout ball and Watson nearly gets isolated but they manage to retain it. Russell does Dunbar no favours with a pass and Scotland are under pressure - Machenaud gets in and forces a turnover, winning a penalty.

    This time Lopez will go for the points, and he gives France the lead.

    71 MIN: FRANCE 19 SCOTLAND 16

  • 72 min: Lopez kicks to Hogg and he carries up to the halfway. Then Russell breaks into French territory but throws a loose pass to Ford and it's forward. Replays show it came off Ford's knee, but it was a daft pass.
  • 73 min: Another dominant French scrum produces another penalty. Lopez finds a good touch inside the 22.
  • 74 min: Good take from Gourdon and France look to maul, solid counter from Scotland but Berghan gets caught on the wrong side and France have another penalty.

    Lopez with the chance to leave Scotland needing a converted try. He slots it.

    76 MIN: FRANCE 22 SCOTLAND 16

  • 77 min: Lopez clears French lines but Hogg takes the lineout quickly as Scotland look to run it from broken play. They're up to the French 10-metre but the ball slows down.
  • 78 min: Scotland try to engineer some space for Jones on the far side but he knocks on. France kick deep and Hogg dances into the French half but has the ball ripped from him in the tackle by Huget.
  • 79 min: France keeping it tight now, getting the big lumps to run down the clock.
  • 79 min: Scotland not troubling France as they retain the ball.
  • FT: FRANCE 22 SCOTLAND 16
  • Right then, thanks for joining today.

    There's a weekend break in the Six Nations but see you the weekend after next as France come to Dublin.

    Cya!