Five takeaways from Scotland v France

Date published: February 11 2018

Following an entertaining 32-26 victory for Scotland over France in the Six Nations, here are five takeaways from the game at Murrayfield.

Greig Laidlaw proved his worth: Returned to the starting XV and was the difference on Sunday, kicking 22 points from the tee for his side. Two conversions and six penalties from the scrum-half, while he also marshalled his forward pack well around the field and slotted in at fly-half too when Finn Russell was replaced. He’s surely now wrestled the scrum-half shirt back off Ali Price for the foreseeable future.

13 the number for Huw Jones: Last week Jones wore number 12 alongside Chris Harris and it seemed to limit the Glasgow man’s qualities. It was therefore no surprise to see the former Stormers centre back in his more familiar jersey against France and boy did he show his worth. That line off Laidlaw for his try and being afforded more space in backplay had the Murrayfield fans excited each time he touched the ball.

Give it to Teddy Thomas: An electric start from the France wing but where was he for the remaining 50 minutes at Murrayfield? France need to find a way to get the Racing 92 man more involved as his first try again oozed class while he was sharp for his second, correctly predicting the bounce to touch down. In Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa France boast two destructive finishers but both didn’t see enough ball.

Real character and belief from Scotland: After the hiding they took against Wales, the pressure was on Scotland to bounce back, especially on home soil. Throw in France enjoying the stronger start as they took an early 10-0 lead and Scotland were on the ropes and needed to dig deep. That they did as in the second-half they dominated proceedings, forcing France into countless offences which saw Scotland prevail.

Gregor Townsend wise to limit changes: In an age when coaches make pre-planned changes at certain points in a match, it was refreshing seeing Townsend keep the faith with a side in the ascendancy. Momentum was clearly with Scotland so why risk upsetting that by throwing wholesale new faces on. Instead he limited his tweaks to Jamie Bhatti, Ben Toolis, David Denton and Ali Price, who all had strong impacts.