|Scotland: (12) 15|
|Pens: Weir (5)|
|France: (12) 22|
|Strive: Vakatawa Con: Ramos Pens: Ramos (four) Drop objective: Jalibert|
Scotland’s Autumn Nations Cup destiny is out of their very own fingers after they fell to a frantic defeat to France at Murrayfield.
Their hopes of reaching the ultimate now relaxation on whether or not Italy can beat France in Paris subsequent week.
The perimeters had been degree on the break, however inside minutes of the restart Virimi Vakatawa claimed the sport’s solely strive.
Scotland needed to dangle on towards repeated French assaults, however their courageous defending went unrewarded.
Gregor Townsend’s aspect had been aiming for a sixth consecutive Take a look at win for under the third time ever, and the primary since 1990, however they had been by no means in a profitable place towards the French.
France’s win ends a run of 4 successive defeats at Murrayfield, and is their first win in Edinburgh since 2014.
The final assembly of those sides delivered all types of fireworks; a purple card for the French when Mohamed Haouas punched Jamie Ritchie within the gob, a criticism from France that Nick Haining ought to have been sent-off, too, for making contact with Haouas’ eyes and, after all, a Scotland victory – their fourth in a row towards the guests in Edinburgh.
There was saucy current historical past, then. France arrived with intent and no finish of energy, their first large maul of the day reaping a penalty which Ramos banged over. The complete-back put over one other inside minutes after Kinghorn nearly received a chase to the road forward of Vakatawa. When play returned for the penalty, Ramos made it 6-Zero.
These had been barely ominous moments for the Scots however they’re manufactured from sterner stuff as of late. Previously they might have let the scoreboard get away from them. This time, they dug in and clawed their approach again. Weir, goal-kicking like an angel, made it 6-Three after which levelled it when Gregory Alldritt obtained achieved at a breakdown.
The kicking duel carried on. France tried to unleash their horses however Scotland’s defence halted them. Jalibert, having seen sufficient of the ability sport, dropped again and dropped a objective as an alternative. Weir replied when Dylan Cretin did not roll away after sustained Scotland stress; 9-9.
Two additional penalties made it 12-12 earlier than a compelling finish to the half. France had a lineout 5m out and a maul that appeared incapable of being stopped. They labored it to the road and fired-up their heavies. You’d have wager the home on them breaking by way of, however they did not. Held up, they retreated with one thing approaching fury etched on their face.
Not for lengthy, although. Their first assault of the brand new half noticed an altogether totally different consequence. Valuable little was seen of France’s deadly runners to that time. Antoine Dupont was quiet, Fickou had supplied nothing, Vakatawa was hushed.
That modified inside two minutes. A strong French scrum, a Fickou cross to Rattez and Scotland had been in hassle. The wing sliced by way of and located Vakatawa on his shoulder. With that momentum and from that vary there was nothing that might be achieved to cease him, although Stuart Hogg did his damndest.
The conversion made it 19-12, however a fifth Weir penalty narrowed the hole in fast order. How Scotland survived the subsequent 10 minutes conceding solely three factors was a minor miracle – or a testomony to their scramble defence.
France’s forwards dominated the breakdown, their backs grew to become influential, their ball was faster and their menace grew. They launched a few mauls that motored downfield. Scotland had been hanging on, nearer and nearer to their very own line. Finally, they made a name assured three factors was higher than banging away all night time for 5 or seven. Ramos put it over. A seven-point hole now.
The endgame was scrappy and weird. Scotland had been awarded a lineout 5m from the French line regardless of Hogg shoving Fickou within the again off the ball within the preamble. An enormous alternative – and an enormous French defensive set, Dylan Cretin ruining Scotland’s large probability. France then had a penalty in their very own half, Ramos opted for objective, partially to wind the clock down, then rushed it for some motive
His kick fell brief. France regained it and kicked it out on full. Scotland regained it and with time virtually up that they had a penalty. Hogg went for contact – and kicked it lifeless. A slapstick finish to a battle. A full cease on Scotland’s profitable run.
Scotland: Hogg (c); Kinghorn, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe, Weir, Value; Kebble, Brown, Berghan; Cummings, Grey; Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.
Replacements: Turner, Bhatti, Z Fagerson, Skinner, Thomson, Hidalgo-Clyne, Taylor, Maitland.
France: Ramos; Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Rattez; Jalibert, Dupont; Gros, Chat, Bamba; Le Roux, Taofifenua; Cretin, Ollivon (c), Alldritt
Replacements: Marchand, Baille, Haouas, Willemse, Woki, Couilloud, Carbonel, Vincent