France U20s v Scotland U20s
Title: France U20s v Scotland U20s – U20 6 Nations Championship 2015
Date: Saturday, 7 February 2015 - 20:45 |
Result: France 47 – 6 Scotland
Scotland U20s succumbed to a physical French outfit, going down 47-6 to the hosts at the Jean Laville Stadium, in the opening match of the 2015 under-20 6 Nations Championship.
The visitors drew first blood from their opposition through a George Horne penalty in the fourth minute yet leaked four tries before the half-time break.
With plentiful possession in the second-half, the home-side squeezed Scotland out, scoring a further three times and denying the visitors any more points.
Scotland under-20 Head Coach, Sean Lineen, said: “The first 20 minutes was good, the score staying at 12-6 for a while, but they’re a quality team and once they got they go-forward they were very difficult to stop, and that’s when we started to make a few silly errors and ill-discipline started to creep in.
“The level that the French boys are at is massive, a lot of them are well experienced in the Top 14 and it shows.
“The physicality was what really got to us, as we tired defending wave after wave of attack – we only had 31 percent of possession and ultimately there’s not much you can do with that.
“Now we just have to look at where we are and focus on the game against Wales next week.”
Scotland came out the blocks well, with Jamie Ritchie, Lewis Carmichael and Ross Graham to the fore, eventually securing a penalty in which scrum-half George Horne duly converted. (0-3)
France retaliated using their powerful pack to work their way toward the Scotland line. Their efforts eventually paid dividends, as a fine inside ball found their full-back Thomas Ramos who cruised in under the posts – the 15 converting his own try. (3-7)
Following a missed shot at goal, France again capitalised on their dominance in possession with lock Julien Delannoy crashing over in the corner, despite a good defensive effort from the Scots. (12-3).
In accordance with the tit-for-tat manner of the affair, Scotland were next on the score-sheet, Horne again the scorer through a penalty goal. (12-6)
France soon took hold of the game, with both their wirey wings, Arthur Bonneval and Lucas Blance scoring impressive tries in quick succession, both of which were converted, to take their team into the break with a 26-6 lead.
There was a lull in the action and scoring to start the second half which France broke as they encroached on Scotland’s line 12 minutes into the period. Following a succession of penalties conceded by the Scottish side, France eventually crossed the line. The referee, unsure of the grounding, went upstairs to the TMO who concurred that the player was in control of the ball on crossing the line and that the score should be given. The successful conversion from the accurate boot of full-back Thomas Ramos widened the gap to 27 points. (6-33).
Scotland regained the belief they had in the opening 20 minutes for a brief spell of play, with replacement Ruaraidh Smith’s break following a well-won turnover a highlight of the period. As Scotland impeded on the France line, a number of cynical offences led the referee to reach into his pocket and produce a yellow card for the home-side’s lock, Julien Delannoy.
Despite the opportunity of having the extra man, Scotland were unlucky not to capitalise as several barrages on the opposition line proved fruitless. Their troubles worsened further as replacement prop Gary Robertson, joined Delannoy in the bin for a late hit on a breaking French player.
The home side seemed intent on pleasing the noisy and passionate crowd and continued to play an attacking brand of rugby. An additional two scores were produced in a similar manner from the French, following long periods of sustained pressure on the Scotland line.
Firstly, replacement back-row Martin Devergie picked up off the back of a scrum too crash over in the corner, soon replicated by inside centre Francois Fontaine who came back on a tight line against the defensive grain to grab the last try of the night. The successful conversions from the clinical boot of Ramos helped seal the 47-6 victory for France.