France player ratings: Gael Fickou and Francois Cros steer dull Les Bleus to victory over Scotland

Jared Wright
France's Gael Fickou attempts to break through the Scotland defence during the Guinness Six Nations match.

France's Gael Fickou attempts to break through the Scotland defence during the Six Nations match.

Following France’s 20-16 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in the Six Nations, here is how we rated Fabien Galthie’s side.

France player ratings

15 Thomas Ramos: He kept France in the game with his kicking and was reasonably solid under the high ball. However, Scotland did win the kicking game and forced errors from the full-back. A performance filled with highs and lows which largely cancelled each other out. 5

14 Damian Penaud: No try to celebrate his 50th Test cap, and much like the previous 49 appearances for France, it was an entertaining and energetic performance from Penaud. There were a few mistakes from the winger, too, but overall; there were more positives. 5

13 Gael Fickou: Back to his best after a poor 80 minutes last week and was rightfully named Player of the Match. He made a stunning break early in the game but was denied by Duhan van der Merwe, but he did get on the scoreboard before the break. Fickou was outstanding on defence and was crucial in the final result. 8

12 Jonathan Danty: Under the cosh for his recent form, but he did not rise to the occasion and put in another bland shift. He was better on defence than he was last weekend but was less effective with ball in hand. 5

11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey: The livewire winger looked to have scored the match-winner to save France’s blushes with a brilliant chip and chase. It was a memorable moment from the youngster who was at fault for the opening Scotland try as he was caught flat-footed and shot up too early, leading to the line break. 7


10 Matthieu Jalibert: The fly-half was another player who was slammed by French media last week for his suspect defence. However, he put in a far tidier shift in that facet of the game this time around. He did waste a penalty failing to find touch but did assist a try again and put in a far better shift than last week, but still not a fantastic one. 6

9 Maxime Lucu: A much-improved performance than the one he produced against Ireland, but still not a great one and not helped by the service he got from his pack (more on that below). His kicking was the best part of his game, but Les Bleus are really missing Antoine Dupont. 5

Planet Rugby player ratings key

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

Back five forwards

8 Gregory Alldritt: France will be holding their breath that the powerhouse back-rower’s injury is not long-term. The stand-in captain was excellent once again in a committed performance on both sides of the ball and was outstanding over the ball. Even his final act was winning a crucial penalty, keeping his side in the game. 7

7 Charles Ollivon: One of the better performances in the pack, getting stuck into the hard graft and was one of the safer lineout options. You know what you are getting from Ollivon every match and it’s a committed effort on both sides of the ball with big carries and today was no different. 6

6 François Cros: Played a role in both of France’s first two tries, winning the turnover that led to Fickou’s score before drawing in multiple defenders before Bielle-Biarrey’s kick and chase score. Brilliant as ever at the breakdown, on both sides of the ball, and excellent on defence. One of France’s best for a second week in a row. 8

5 Paul Gabrillagues: Industrious in the rucks and on defence in a tidy shift. He had a bit of a wobble with a loose ball, but it had no impact on the match. Surprisingly, he was replaced in the 59th minute, but Les Bleus needed an injection of energy. 6

4 Cameron Woki: There were hopes that he would fix France’s struggling lineout, but in truth, it just got worse. There were some costly errors at the set-piece, and they didn’t offer much around the pitch. Called to the sidelines 10 minutes into the second half. 4


3 Uini Atonio: He was baffled by his yellow card but really shouldn’t have been, as it was a clear-cut call. He was strong in the scrums and won a turnover. Outside of his card, it was a solid enough performance. 4

2 Peato Mauvaka: A lot of the blame for the horrid lineout display has to fall at his feet as France struggled to retain their own throws. He played his part in a solid scrum but did not make an impact in attack. 4

1 Cyril Baille: The loosehead prop was part of a strong scrummaging effort and was busy around the park too. He got the ball away to Jalibert to set up Fickou’s try and racked up a decent carry and tackle count. 7

Replacements: The lineout certainly improved once the changes were made, with Julien Marchand improving the set-piece. Posolo Tuilagi made a notable impact, while Nolann Le Garrec’s bullet pass led to the winning try. 8

READ MORE: Drama filled controversial finish as Scotland come up short against flat France in Six Nations