Scotland vs France, Sun, 13/03/2016 - 15:00

Scotland
29 - 18
Full time
France
Sunday, 13 March, 2016 - 15:00 | BT Murrayfield

Scotland claimed a memorable 29-18 victory over France to secure their first home win of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship in front of a sell-out crowd at BT Murrayfield.

The result – in which Scotland out-scored France by three tries to two – was the home team’s first success over Les Bleus for ten years.

It built on the win in Rome last month and means Scotland go to Ireland next weekend aiming for their third win of the championship – a landmark also last grasped ten years ago.

France scored early in the first-half before two tries from Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor combined with Greg Laidlaw’s boot during his 25th game as captain.

Gael Fickou touched down minutes before the interval to keep France within touching distance while also settling a half-time score of 18-12.

Man-of-the-match Hogg continued to impress after the break with an early penalty strike extending Scotland’s lead, with Tim Visser scoring a crucial try in the final quarter of the game to seal victory.

Greig Laidlaw on the day he equalled David Sole’s record of 25 appearances as Scotland captain, said: “France tried to steamroller us and I thought we fronted up and finished strongly.

“We defended well and put away three tries which was a big bonus. Hoggy’s try was a team effort, Duncan Taylor showed a bit of brilliance and Visser’s score was very pleasing.”

The early exchanges witnessed an attacking France side trouble the Scottish defence with captain Guilhem Guirado crashing over for a try in the fourth minute, following some impressive inter-changes between Virimi Vakatawa and Wesley Fofana down the right wing.

Scotland stand-off Finn Russell came off with a head knock minutes later and was replaced by Peter Horne for the remainder of the match.

The hosts began to build phases through some impressive work from both backs and forwards before Alexandre Flanquart was penalised for slowing the ball, Laidlaw stepping up to secure Scotland’s first points of the match after 14 minutes.

A knock-on from France gave Scotland the put in at the scrum over the ten metre line with a subsequent infringement providing the Scottish captain with another penalty opportunity, which he secured in the 21stminute.

A break from a busy Taylor in midfield resulted in Richie Gray carrying close to the opposition line before Scotland’s outside centre made ground again with Hogg finding the gap in the French defence with some superb footwork to touchdown for Scotland’s first try after the 30 minute mark and extend the home lead to 11-5 as the conversion attempt from Laidlaw went astray.

Minutes later, Taylor saw an opportunity to tap and go following a penalty from the half-way line after a courageous turnover had been secured by Tommy Seymour. Taylor darted past the defence down the right wing to score in the corner before Laidlaw converted in the 35th minute.

However, it was France who had the final say of the half, with scrum-half Maxime Machenaud finding the dangerous Fickou who dotted down in the left corner on the stroke of half-time with Machenaud slotting a fine conversion.

Half-time: Scotland 18 France 12

After the interval, early scrummaging mistakes from France resulted in a penalty opportunity for Hogg from just under half-way. The Scotland full-back nailed a priceless long-range effort to extend his team’s lead.

France responded through a successful penalty strike from Machenuad in the 50th minute and the visitors continued to pressurise the Scottish defence through quick forward ball.

Machenuad kept France ticking over in the 57th minute by striking a penalty through the posts from 45 metres out and at 21-18 you sensed the next score would be vital.

A penalty to Scotland in the lineout resulted in Hogg kicking to touch to find an attacking position. Alex Dunbar was unleased at full tilt, Richie Gray rumbled on, then Willem Nel carried purposefully.

From recycled possession Hogg took the ball and acrobatically flipped it on to Visser on the wing for a glorious try in the left corner in the 66th minute.

Laidlaw extended Scotland’s lead minutes later with a penalty following an infringement in the scrum, the Scottish captain now just two points away from the 500 point haul for his country.

Fickou was involved again for France with a forward pass denying the centre a late try in the match come the 76th minute.

Scotland were awarded the put in at the scrum with minutes left on the clock before a contest for the ball signalled the final whistle and a terrific Scotland victory.

Full-time: 29-18

Attendance: 67,144

RBS Man of the Match: Stuart Hogg

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, John Hardie, Josh Strauss. Replacements: Stuart McInally for Ford (67’), Rory Sutherland, Moray Low for Nel (72’), Tim Swinson for Richie Gray (78’), Ryan Wilson for Strauss (61’), Sam Hidalgo- Clyne, Pete Horne for Russell (6’), Sean Lamont.

France: Scott Spedding; Wesley Fofana, Gaël Fickou, Maxime Mermoz, Virimi Vakatawa; François Trinh-Duc, Maxime Machenaud; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado CAPTAIN, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Damien Chouly. Replacements: Camille Chat for Guirado (69’), Uini Atonio for Poirot (61’), Vincent Pelo, Sébastien Vahaamahina for Flanquart (51’), Loann Goujon for Camara (64’), Sébastien Bézy, Jules Plisson for Trinh-Duc (68’), Maxime Médard for Mermoz (68’).

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)

Team lineups

Scotland
France

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

RBS 6 Nations Championship 2016 latest results

France 21 v 31 England
Ireland 35 v 25 Scotland
Wales 67 v 14 Italy
Scotland 29 v 18 France
England 25 v 21 Wales