Planet Rugby

France outgun brave Scots

26th February 2012 14:30

Share:

Fofana scotland v france

France try-scorer: Wesley Fofana

France made it two wins out of two in this year's Six Nations after seeing off a gallant Scotland side 23-17 at Murrayfield on Sunday.

It was a third defeat for the Scots, who at times threatened to take control of this game, but the French just seemed to grow stronger as the match progressed.

Both sides crossed the whitewash twice, went into the half-time sheds all square (10-10) and took their shots at goal when presented to them.

However, whilst Murrayfield was given a glimpse of Scotland's potential, the hosts once again just lacked the killer instinct to push on for the win midway through the second half when they held a slender lead.

Instead, Scotland coach Andy Robinson - now with two wins from 13 Six Nations fixtures in charge - was left to rue another one that got away when France full-back Maxime Medard went over for the decisive score just before the hour as the visitors went ahead for good.

Replacement back Lionel Beauxis sealed the deal when he put over a drop-goal in the 68th minute and Les Bleus rode it out until full-time.

The Scots dominated the early stages and took the lead when the outstanding Stuart Hogg, on his first start, was put over in the right corner after some quick passing along the back line.

Greig Laidlaw converted and added a penalty to make it 10-0, but the French soon hit back.

Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc bulldozed over Laidlaw and when he was hauled down the French backs combined to put Wesley Fofana crashing past flailing Scottish arms to score.

Three minutes from half-time Geoff Cross gave the penalty away and Morgan Parra levelled it up, but the scrum-half missed another penalty shot just before the interval.

Parra was on target five minutes after the break to put the French in front for the first time, but Scotland regained the lead with a brilliant try in the 55th minute.

John Barclay's superb tackle set up a turnover deep in the Scots half, and the Nick de Luca charged upfield, passed left to Richie Vernon who drew the defender and put Lee Jones over (17-13).

But the lead lasted just two minutes - Julien Malzieu smashed through Jones' powderpuff tackle, and sent Medard galloping under the posts for a 17-20 lead.

Beauxis added his drop goal to extend the lead to six, and the French - who were nowhere near their best - saw it out comfortably from there as Les Bleus stay on course for a Grand Slam showdown with Wales.

Man of the match: France centre Wesley Fofana was a constant midfield threat whose first-half try was one for the highlight reels and skipper Thierry Dusautoir was at his typically robust best. But in the end we going for Scotland flank Ross Rennie - uncompromising and tough-tackling, he relished the full-on battle.

Moment of the match: It's always a sight to see a young gun score on debut, and when Stuart Hogg dived over in the corner for his first Test try, we could tell that Scotland meant business.

Villain of the match: No malice to report.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Tries: Hogg, Jones
Cons: Laidlaw, Weir
Pens: Laidlaw

For France:
Tries: Fofana, Médard
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 2
Drop: Beauxis

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Denton, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross , 2 Ross Ford (c) 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Alastair Kellock, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Duncan Weir, 22 Nick De Luca.

France: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (capt), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Lionel Nallet, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Julien Dupuy, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Maxime Mermoz.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821