Scotland Women were overcome by a powerful French side in the second round of the Women’s Six Nations in La Rochelle.
The French scored nine tries, three in the first half, to secure a 55-0 bonus point win.
A cold, clear night saw the temperature drop and handling errors rise in the first quarter as both sides struggled to get a grip creating avoidable turnovers.
Though the hosts were physical from the get go, the Scottish defence held up in crucial moments in the opening quarter with back-row Karen Dunbar putting in an enormous shift.
France put the first points on the board at 17 minutes when number 8 Safi N’Diaya crashed over the whitewash following an intense period of pressure.
A turnover by Dunbar inside Scotland’s 22 followed by a swift off load to wing Rhona Lloyd saw valuable yards gained, but the possession was short lived and the French centre Shannon Izar crossed the try line at the 28th minute. A second missed conversion by fullback Jessy Tremouliere kept the score at 10-0
Scotland’s scrum settled as the game went on and there were a few glimmers of hope as they fought to stay in the game ahead of half time.
A lapse in the Scots’ concentration was taken advantage of by second-row Lenaig Corson, who carved through the middle of the last line of defence to score under the posts to set up a straight forward conversion at the 35-minute mark, which stand-off Christelle Le Duff slotted (17-0)
Not long after, Scotland were making the most of ball in hand and got the ball out wide to wing Megan Gaffney, who made a break past the first tackler only to be bundled into touch.
HALF TIME: FRANCE 17-0 SCOTLAND
France ramped up the tempo following the break and took it to Scotland, flinging the ball left and right to create gaps in the line of defence.
Centre Elodie Poublan scored just after the kick off and Le Duff added the extras to extend the score to 24-0; the final score in last year’s fixture.
France kept the foot on the gas and made up for missing a penalty attempt with winger Elodie Guiglion crossing the whitewash with 46 minutes on the clock.
Scotland rung in the changes but fresh legs and lungs were unable to halt the momentum created by the home side, who were spurred on by passionate and very vocal support.
Stand-off Jade La Pesq scored a brace at 49 and 52 minutes, with replacement Camile Cabalou scoring her first of two tries in between. Centre Caroline Ladagnous scored France’s eighth try for the night.
Cabalou scored the last points of the game with a converted try at 66 minutes taking the final score to 55-0.
FULL TIME: FRANCE 55-0 SCOTLAND
|9||Jade Le Pesq|
|France Women||39||v||19||Wales Women|
|Ireland Women||7||v||34||England Women|
|Scotland Women||14||v||12||Italy Women|
|Italy Women||5||v||28||France Women|
|England Women||64||v||0||Scotland Women|