Scottish Universities 0–47 French Universities

Despite a resilient effort, Scottish Universities could not contain a flurry of second half tries as they went down 47 – 0 to their French counterparts at Myreside yesterday evening, Friday 5 February.

Only French openside Quentin D’Aram crossed the white line during a rain-soaked opening half but five second half tries quelled any hope of a Scottish comeback.

Despite a resilient effort, Scottish Universities could not contain a flurry of second half tries as they went down 47 – 0 to their French counterparts at Myreside yesterday evening, Friday 5 February.

Only French openside Quentin D’Aram crossed the white line during a rain-soaked opening half but five second half tries quelled any hope of a Scottish comeback.

In the early exchanges the visitors enjoyed the majority of the possession collecting six points through the boot of their stand-off Pierre Bernard.

However, the Scots were unlucky not to make their mark on the score-sheet after a number of long range penalties goals from Dumfries full-back Tom Hiddleston came agonisingly close.

The Scots struggled to deal with the French tactical kicking game and driving maul.

It was not long before French full-back Pierre Belzunce linked with the racy D’Aram, who rounded the Scots outside backs to score in the 13th minute.

Bernard added the extras to lead 0 - 10.

Aberdeen University Winger Redha Guedroudj plagued the French attack with a number of perfectly timed tackles and towards the end of the first half back-row substitute Iain Moody made his presence known with a number of probing runs.

It was the French playmaker Bernard, however, who catapulted the French into a 0-16 lead at the interval with another perfectly executed kick at goal.

HALF TIME: 0 – 16

The professionalism of the French players shone through in the second half and the Scots defence could not sustain the physicality of the marauding French pack.

Inside-centre Maxime Veau of Clermont was first to touch down in the 50th minute, followed six minutes later by a sniping try from scrum-half Nicolas Chaix.

Bernard kept his kicking record intact, slotting both conversions.

Both sides began to make a number of substitutions and the Scots launched their most persistent attacking campaign of the match.

Edinburgh University’s blindside flanker Jamie Doubleday and Guedroudj both troubled the French defence but could not cross the whitewash.

Against the run of play, D’Aram broke and cleverly nudged the ball forward for his compatriot Belzunce to dot down in the corner. The resulting conversion attempt fell short.

In the final ten minutes, another try from Belzunce and one from substitute winger Nicolas Chaix compounded France’s dominance in the match.

FULL TIME: 0 – 47

Scottish Universities Head Coach, Chris Reekie, said: “You simply cannot kick ball away to the French and not expect to concede tries - the players have to start believing in their own attacking abilities.

“In many facets of the game we competed well and the players will learn a lot from tonight and hopefully understand what they are capable of.

“The boys simply need more time together in training to give us a better platform for competing at this level. However, we have to look forward with optimism towards the next test against an equally strong Irish outfit.”

Scottish Universities: Tom Huddleston; Redha Guedroudj, William Wardlaw, Paddy Traylor, Stewart Coleman; David Reekie, Stuart McGhee; John Mawhinney, Matt Cannon, Michael McDonald, Gary Temple, Jamie Rupar (Captain), Jamie Doubleday, Geoff Dunne, Andy Thomson.
Replacements: Niall Shannon, Giles Goatly, Finlay Hay, Ruairidh Wilson, Iain Moody, David O’Hagan, Erlend Oag.

French Universities: Pierre Belzunce; Maxime Lebouhris, Baptiste Heker, Maxime Veau, Paul Bonnefond; Pierre Bernard, Nicolas Bezy; Yvan Watremez, Clement Maynadier, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Benjamin Desroches, Benoit Guyot, Quentin D’Aram, Hugo Rongieras.
Replacements: Remi Bonfils, Kevin Kervarec, Damien Gateau, Romain Dibel, Thomas Servien, Ludovic Allegre, Nicolas Chaix.