Six Nations: Scotland v France

The Scots and the French both look to bounce back from opening weekend defeats at Murrayfield

Patrick Madden Sun, Feb 11
LIVE: Six Nations: Scotland v France

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  • Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Scotland's Six Nations clash with France at Murrayfield (3.0).

    Both sides head into today's fixture on the back of opening weekend defeats.

    Gregor Townsend's Scots came into the tournament with genuine hopes of rattling the cages of the Ireland-England duopoly and staking a claim for a first Championship since 1999.   On the evidence of their hapless showing in Cardiff, where they lost 34-7, that now seems highly unlikely.

    France on the other hand came into the Six Nations with low expectations after yet more managerial turmoil and a run of rank results in 2017. Their gutsy showing against Ireland in Paris suggested their prospects aren't quite as grim as feared.

    It's still early days, but for either side to look back on the 2018 Championship with any satisfaction, you feel victory today is paramount.

    We'll be bringing you all of the action from Murrayfield, here's to a good one.

    Come on!!!

  • TEAMS:

    Scotland: Hogg (Glasgow); Seymour (Glasgow), Jones (Glasgow), Horne (Glasgow), Maitland (Saracens), Russell (Glasgow), Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne); Reid (London Irish), McInally (Edinburgh), Berghan (Edinburgh), Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Gray (Glasgow), Barclay (captain, Scarlets), Watson (Edinburgh), Wilson (Glasgow). Replacements: Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Bhatti (Glasgow), Welsh (Newcastle), Toolis (Edinburgh), Denton (Worcester), Price (Glasgow), Harris (Newcastle), Kinghorn (Edinburgh).

    France: Geoffrey Palis, Teddy Thomas, Remi Lamerat, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Virimi Vakatawa, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Machenaud, Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Rabah Slimani, Arthur Iturria, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Marco Tauleigne. Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Eddy Ben Arous, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Louis PIcamoles, Baptiste Serin, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.

  • Townsend has made six changes to his side after last weekend's calamitous effort against Wales. Among those returning to the fold are veteran scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw, along with Sean Maitland and Ryan Wilson. In total, this weekend's XV has 132 more caps than last time out.

    "We, as a coaching group, and especially the players, believe that what we showed at the weekend wasn’t a true reflection of what we are capable of and what we have done throughout 2017," said Townsend midweek.

  • Having given 19-year-old  Matthieu Jalibert his debut against Ireland last weekend, Jacques Brunel has gone the other way today, bringing 32-year-old outhalf  Lionel Beauxis out of the international wilderness after a six year absence.  
  • Here come the teams at Murrayfield!
  • Crisp, clean afternoon in the Scottish capital - should lend itself to some running rugby.
  • Anthems done.
  • Beauxis has his hands on the ball in an international shirt once again - and he gets us underway!
  • 1 min: Scotland - decked out in their away colours of white and purple - receive the kick off and run a couple of smart early phases, Horne having an early dart down the left.
  • 2 min: Scotland clear and France lay down an early marker by running it straight back, Doumayrou crashing through a tackle on a particularly thunderous line.  
  • TRY FRANCE!!!!!
  • What a start! France showing plenty of intent early on, keeping the ball alive. A misspass is thrown out to Thomas on the right wing just inside the Scottish half. The winger has to check but then stands up Russell and skins him down the outside, before burning back infield, shrugging off the cover of Hogg and diving over to score. Electric.

    Machenaud converts.


  • 5 min: Another slow start from Scotland, another stunning finish from Thomas - it was very smiilar to his score against Ireland. The hosts are looking for a quick reponse and work their way up to the French 10 - where Jones knocks forward after a big tackle from Guirado.

  • 7 min: First set piece and it's messy, Reid penalised giving France a scrum penalty, which is sent into touch on the Scottish 10 by Beauxis.
  • 8 min: Snappy, quick phases from the French, working infield after winning the lineout. Beauxis opts for a chip over the top which is semi-charged down and gathered by Maitland who is a bit isolated. Gray then carries but is a bit slow showing the ball back and gets pounced upon - France penalty.

    Machenaud will go for goal - fairly central inside the Scottish 10 - nails it.


  • 11 min: France take the restart and Machenaud sends a box kick up to the 10. Lightning ball off the top for Scotland and they let rip for the first time, the ball flashed through the hands to Hogg, who kicks through. Thomas is across to cover and can only hack the ball into touch on the five-metre.
  • 12 min: Scotland win the lineout and set the maul, making ground before France manage to slow it down on the five.
  • 13 min: Scotland pick and go and edge infield, great counter-rucking from France but the hosts retain the ball well.
  • Patient build-up with a killer finish. France get a bit narrow and Gray bounces Machenaud, finding secondrow partner Gilchrist. He pops to Russell who spins it wide to the onrushing Maitland who dives to score in the left corner.

    Laidlaw nails a brilliant conversion. This is great fare.


  • 16 min: Hogg's clearance is charged down, luckily for Scotland the ball trickles dead. France receive the drop out and run it back, looking to build from the halfway line.
  • 17 min: Thomas is so slippery - he dummies on halfway and nearly scampers through the tightest of gaps. France lose their momentum though as Scotland strip the ball and set about building their own attack in the middle of the park.
  • 18 min: This is like a game of sevens, both side throwing it around with abandon - we've had one scrum and two lineouts in 20 minutes.  
  • 21 min: Beauxis picks out Russell with a kick and he looks to run it back, earning a penalty as he's tackled. He sends it into touch deep in the France half.
  • 22 min: Scotland win the lineout but then France manage to slow it down in midfield. Beauxis finds touch on the Scottish 10 - a few minutes of relative calm.
  • 23 min: A captain's steal at the back of the lineout by Barclay. Russell tries to pin a kick in behind Vakatawa but sends it out on the full - French lineout on the 10 again, waste of a turnover.
  • 24 min: France nearly have an opening on the right but the Scottish cover is good. France move it back left, good tackle from Gray, and Poirot knocks on as he looks to pick and go.
  • 25 min: Solid Scottish scrum and Russell kicks again - this time it's a good one and Palis is put under big pressure by the kick chase but does well to present the ball back.
  • TRY FRANCE!!!!!!!!!
  • Thomas again! Brilliant try from France. Great carry from Camara and they move it through the hands to the left, the frontrow getting involved as Vakatawa takes the contact. They then switch the play to the right and it's moved to Thomas, he chips ahead and is in a foot race with Laidlaw - the French winger gets the bounce and nips through to touch down.

    Machenaud converts.


  • 30 min: Scotland have a penalty in the French half after the visitors get pinged for not rolling away - and Russell kicks it dead.
  • 31 min: Bit of better ball for the Scots, moving it through the hands to Maitland on the left. Stunning pass on the right from Horne to Seymour who steals a few yards down the right and passes back inside where it goes loose.
  • TRY SCOTLAND!!!!!!
  • Hogg is the spark, running on the outside shoulder into the 22 and keeping the ball alive with an offload. Scotland run a couple of phases on the left and then it's popped to Jones, who thunders between Vahaamahina and Beauxis on an unstoppable line and scores under the sticks.

    Laidlaw converts.


  • 34 min: Great work from the Scottish pack, slowing down the French maul and earning a penaly, which is sent to touch in the French half.
  • 36 min: Good platform for Scotland with a lineout inside the French 22 - but it's excellently stolen at the front by Iturria.  
  • 38 min: Great break from Maitland up to the French 22 but Tauleigne latches on to enforce an excellent turnover.
  • 39 min: Late chance for France - lineout on the Scottish 22.
  • 40 min: Free play for France after an infringement at the lineout from Gray - it comes to nothing as Beauxis' chip is charged down.  

    Machenaud will go for goal with the penalty - nice strike.


  • Phew.
  • The teams are back out at Murrayfield. One change - Baptiste Serin on for Machenaud.

    Russell gets us back underway!

  • 41 min: Laidlaw gets monstered by Tauleigne at the back of a lineout but manages to recover - Scottish possession on the French 10.
  • 42 min: Scotland up to 10 phases - Gilchrist with a good carry inside the French 10.
  • 43 min: Good passage from Scotland who've had ownership of the ball since the break - and they earn a penalty after Camara is pinged for coming in at the side.

    Laidlaw will go for goal - dead straight and just outside the 22 - and he splits the posts.


  • 45 min: Deep France restart and Scotland run it back with a few hard carries, before Slimani is pinged. Russell then misses touch with the penalty - his kicking has been poor.
  • 46 min: And then Scotland get done for crossing in midfield -Wilson obstrcting Lauret as he looked to tackle Hogg.

    Serin will look to take those three points straight back with the penalty, and he slots it from the 10-metre. Sloppy from Scotland.


  • 48 min: Kamikaze stuff, Iturria instantly conceding another penalty form the restart.

    Laidlaw keeps the scoreboard ticking.


  • 50 min: Palis leaps to take a Laidlaw boxkick but knocks it forward. Great break from deep by Hogg but Jones then spills it forward.
  • 51 min: Scotland playing with great intensity now, lovely short ball to Horne and he breaks the line. But then brilliant work over the top from Iturria turns it over. Beauxis sends the kick to touch just outside the Scottish 22.
  • 53 min: France set the lineout maul before Serin opts for a kick down the shortside but it's too heavy for Vakatawa.
  • 55 min: 10 phases from France around the Scottish 10. They drop it deeper for Thomas and Doumayrou bursts up to the 22. Slimani makes good yards and France have the momentum and an advantage.
  • 56 min: 20 phases for France, Scotland holding firm. Eventually it breaks down and they come back for the penalty.

    Serin knocks it over from under the posts.


  • 58 min: Picamoles is off the bench and Scotland send the restart straight down his throat. Scotland back on the ball inside the French 10 metre with an advantage after good work from Jones. Russell makes a great little dart round the fringes and Scotland have a bit of momentum - but it slows down on the 22.

    Penalty to Scotland - Laidlaw makes it a three point game again.


  • 62 min: Another booming carry from deep from Picamoles. No sign of the French looking to shut this game down and they're still throwing it around - the ball is flipped on to Picmaoles in midfield and he knocks on on his bootlaces.
  • 63 min: Another Scottish penalty, this time from the scrum.

    Laidlaw brings Scotland level for the first time.


  • 65 min: Swing in the pendulum here. Price is on for Russell and he kicks deep where Beauxis knocks on a simple ball, the mistake met with a huge roar.
  • 66 min: Scotland spin it left and Hogg chips ahead for Seymour but Doumayrou calls a quick mark. But then he taps quickly and Serin's pass goes loose - Scotland back on the ball inside the French 22.
  • 67 min: Scotland take it in on the five but can't dig it out. France need to take a breath and slow things down - they're rattled at the minute.
  • 68 min: The Feench scrum holds firm and Picamoles gives it to Beauxis on a good angle and he clears his lines well. Quick lineout from the Scots and they're back on the ball inside the French 10.
  • 69 min: Excellent work from Jones to get Scotland inside the French 22. 11 phases from Scotland and they have ANOTHER penalty advantage - chance to get their noses in front.

    It's to the right of the posts inside the 22 - Laidlas gives Scotland the lead.


  • 72 min: There was something admirable about France keeping the ball alive earlier,but it's like they are playing a game of hot potato in the endgame. Scottish scrum on the halfway after they try to force a pass which wasn't there.
  • 74 min: Seven exhausting phases for Scotland just inside their own half - very attritional passage of play - but they emerge with a penalty. Hogg finds an excellent touch deep in the French 22. Big, big chance.
  • 75 min: Scotland set a lineout maul and slowly grind their way infield, where Camara gets caught on the wrong side and gets penalised.

    Laidlaw extends the lead to six.


  • 78 min: Scotland's turn to get penalised on their own 10-metre. France are playing the advantage and running the clock down rather than taking the penalty and sticking it in the corner. Eventually they come back for it and Belleau sticks it into touch in the 22.  
  • 79 min: Scotland do a good job of spoiling the French lineout maul - they slow the ball down and earn a huge scrum!
  • 80 min: Scotland secure the ball form the scrum - they just need to run a few phases, France get penalised - game over.
  • Huge win for Scotland - who played brilliantly in the second half. Great fun.