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Sunday, February 06, 2011

French power and flair too much for Scotland in Paris

French power and flair too much for Scotland in Paris

France turned it on in Paris last night as they produced an impressive 34-21 win over Scotland in the most entertaining Six Nations game of the weekend.

Both sides contributed, with Scotland, who in recent times have struggled to score tries, crossing three times themselves, through Alastair Kellock, Kelly Brown, and Sean Lamont.

While the Scots put up a brave fight in the face of some dazzling French play at times, it was all about the home side as they showed that theyre over the thumping they took from Australia a few months back, and demonstrated what a classy outfit they can be.

The skill level on display was highly impressive, and a good end to a Six Nations weekend that was at times error prone and lacking the decisive finishing required at the highest level. All four French tries were good, although there were a few standouts.

A Maxime Medard break led to some superb interchanges that ended with Damien Traille diving over, and then a well placed, through-the-legs pass by Francois Trinh-Duc allowed Imanol Harinordoquy to streak away for a memorable try.

While Scotland remained close on the scoreboard, the result was never in doubt, with France making a pretty emphatic statement at the start of the tournament.

"There was a lot of rhythm and intensity. It wasn't easy. People said there was a lot to fear from this Scotland side and they were right," said Marc Lievremont afterwards.

"I'm very happy with the performance of the backs. It was far from the perfect match but I like the solidarity shown during the game. That was pleasing."


Time: 04:21
Credit: BBC

Posted at 12:24 pm | 49 comments

Viewing 49 comments

Anonymous February 06, 2011 12:38 pm

France....is a powerful war machine!!

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 12:41 pm

France to cause an upset later on this year? I know they were playing Scotland, but the Scots are vastly improved, and the French look like they could play like the All Blacks at times.

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 12:50 pm

France were very dangerous on the counter, I thought scotland played very well - they have the most to build on after the weekend

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 12:54 pm

Francois Trinh-Duc, What a lucky twat getting away with a pass like that!

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Colombes February 06, 2011 1:00 pm

Great game by France. But everything was Not perfect. The 2 last scot tries were gifts.

France had never lost their flair and attack against australia. This novembre disaster was the "foul" of lievremont who wanted to view new players. Problem is that cohesion can't exist if u change Always your squad.

If France can find the Good balance between the solid defence of the 2010 grand slam, new attack promess and continue with the same players then They ll be hard to beat. Let see vs ireland.

Trinh duc pass was gorgeous

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Gilles February 06, 2011 1:03 pm

Taking 3 tries from the scots does not fare well for us, I hope we'll tighten up against the irish or the english....

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BigBucks February 06, 2011 1:06 pm

Trinh duc! Trinh duc!

Dan cart... Who?

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Gilles February 06, 2011 1:07 pm

"Francois Trinh-Duc, What a lucky twat getting away with a pass like that!"

When carlos spencer does it, he is hailed a genius, what's the difference?

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 1:15 pm

what a great game of rugby!

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NHam February 06, 2011 1:19 pm

France get trounced by the ozzies by a million points in there last game then this happens?! Tell me it's just what the French do and we're not heading into a SH ambush later this year!

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 1:20 pm

This is the reason why you don't ever, ever write off the French. If they actually turn up and are on form they are unstoppable, even against the mighty All Blacks.

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 2:01 pm

SH fans will laugh with this french performance saying that France was trashed by boks ans ozzies, that Tri nations is soo better, etc

Truth is i prefer lose by 30 pts in amicals and win a quarter vs AB's or Aussies like in 2007

Let see if these frogs can become consistent

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fry February 06, 2011 2:56 pm

I'm just glad to see Scotland scored some tries for once! Looks like their defense was a bit more like the NZ match, as opposed to the game against SA...unfortunate.

But then again, France looked to be back on form as well, so credit given where it's due. Playing Traille at fullback instead of flyhalf is a much smarter move, I think.

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 3:01 pm

A good rugby team, but by no means a war machine. Nous remisons!

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 3:07 pm

Nice to see the French helping the Scots up occasionally. Particularly Chabal, who can be a bit of a prick sometimes. Fair play France!

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Flipje February 06, 2011 3:28 pm

Good game to watch actually the most interesting in term of play from this first round.

Huge credit to the Scots for not giving up and continiously playing an offensive and pass minded game. I was really impressed by the level of confidence showed and what a game from Richie Gray!!!! Hope they keep the same approach for the rest of the tournement.

About the French, if we forgot our poor defensive display in the center, it was a bit of a miracle what Lievremont pulled off.... Trinc Duc and Medard and the front pack had a massive game.
But still will put some water in my wine, with two turnover tries. Only one try is really coming from an offensive build up.

As for the number of turnover (20 conceeded vs the Scots), this is what killed us against Australia and still is a problem...

On another point, I hope the front row, specially Servat will not get injury as our bench is still quite weak (international level).

Still enjoyable to watch....

Ps: credit to the ref Barnes, for letting the game flows....but he was helped by both team....

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Mike February 06, 2011 4:15 pm

France looking good. Some work to do in defence, but I can easily see them beating us (Ireland) next week.

Scotland can walk away fro m that with their heads held high. Not many teams score 3 against France in Paris in serious competition.

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(u-p)rick February 06, 2011 8:20 pm

Scotland can walk away from that with their heads held high because not often do Scotland score 3 tries in a match!!!! In all honesty I didn't ever think they'd win, although I didn't think they'd win against SA either. However I hoped they'd play some inspiring rugby for their sakes. I think there were some silly errors here which you cannot do against the French but all in all the best game of the 6N so far.

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 8:46 pm

awesome pass from Trinh Duc !!!!

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Anonymous February 06, 2011 9:07 pm

soctland a team to be worried about in the 6n's?

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nztrip2011.com February 06, 2011 9:08 pm

That was an awesome pass at 2:28!

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frenchman February 06, 2011 9:51 pm

haw haw haw haw haw!

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martin-offload February 06, 2011 10:11 pm

Does anyone know which forward Lamont sat down on his way to the tryline?

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no9 February 06, 2011 10:44 pm

every french try came from a scottish mistake.

they didn't create any of thier own tries, got dam close but always lost the ball.

worrying sign for them.

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Mike February 06, 2011 11:08 pm

every french try came from a scottish mistake.

True, but then every team makes mistakes - if France are as deadly in capitalising on their chances in all the games, we can hand the trophy to them already.

Did you see how many mistakes Ireland (my team) made against Italy? France will murder us if we do that again.

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John F February 06, 2011 11:24 pm

Yeah that was a Spencer pass from Trinh-Duc, very nice!

France looked superb in 2009 when they won in NZ then beat the Saffas in Toulouse. They genuinally looks like they might turn into WC contenders. But I'm not so sure now. First they got wallopped by NZ in Marseille then they followed up a good 6N with poor AIs. Not quite sure they've built up the momentum and the stability in their side to win a world cup. Semi-finals again probably.

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RugbyFan February 06, 2011 11:25 pm

Am I the only one that believes the French got lucky with the number of lethal mistakes made by the Scots?

There is no denying they dominated the scrum, but the amount of turnovers the Scots gave is just mind blowing. France is a quality side and have been for quite some time, but I personally did not see anything special brought to that game, comparing them to the AB's as some posters have is a far stretch.

Only the first game lets see how they fair with the rest especially England.

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Gman February 07, 2011 12:22 am

Rugbyfan, i agree with you. We (the French) always look good after being murdered. We have a couple of good wins against Scotland and Italy and then it's all downhill. Hopefully I am wrong but I don't think we are a serious contender for the WC.

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Redron February 07, 2011 2:18 am

French looked wicked on the attack, but you could tell that when they got around 10 points ahead the foot was taken off the gas, a vast number of changes were made and Scotland were given a few soft tries. The French hit back almost straight after each one to maintain the gap but it almost looked like they wanted to downplay their strengths.

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Anonymous February 07, 2011 4:39 am

I agree with Flipje: in 2nd half our scrum was not good at all, and that's a worry (Guirado is poor) especially if Lievremont decides to do early substitutions.
What do you think of Mermoz? Am not convinced. I'd love to see Jauzion and Bastareaud again.

Well done Scotland, great team!

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Canadian Content February 07, 2011 4:48 am

Scotland look very dangerous and I predict they will beat Wales and Ireland as well if both sides keep their current form.

Gray looked really good! Useful big guy.

Ansbro looked very useful as well.

Would not count them out if they play within themselves.

France of course looked merciless when bouncing on opportunities. I pick them to take the championship again. Le crunch should be a cracker!

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Anonymous February 07, 2011 9:12 am

a game that good deserved a highlights video longer than 4 minutes. A lot of the build-up/replays of the tries that was very good was left out

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Pat February 07, 2011 9:17 am

Not very sure that France is a serious contender for RWC. They are one of the most talented side but are they able to be performant during few months? that is the question.

But, for sure, with england, France is the only NH side able to beat AB's, Aussies or boks in a SH world cup.
With a long and "muscle" preparation during summer (and the tri-nations), NH sides will may arrive very fit in autumn.

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Anonymous February 07, 2011 9:37 am

Well to sum this up, I'd say hopefully this does not show our usual defensive qualities, as 2 of our best tacklers, Nallet and Pierre, were really weak on the game. Normally, they are poisons, slow down every ball in the rucks and get much more turnovers.
On the bright side, it looks like we are building up a fine attacking side.

The real problem in our side, is that our backs are POOR tacklers: only 2nd and 3rd rows tackle, which means at the beginning of every game of high intensity, our scrum (which, you'll agree, is one of the best in the wolrd) is really harmfull, but as the game goes on, they get exhausted by replacement and defense: if you see, every time we get hammered (ABs in 2009, Ozzies in 2010, as the other losses are different, much less significant problems for us) we keep the score for about 50, 60 mns before total collapse.

Anyway, hope we'll show consistency for the crunch, otherwise I'll have to support the English after we get out of the semi finals during next WC!!!

BTW, way to go, England!

Paco from Paris

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Anonymous February 07, 2011 9:40 am

quick remark: Why the F*** do you show a photo of a Frenchman being well tackled for a French Victory highlights?

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Paolo February 07, 2011 11:21 am

An enjoyable game but I think people are getting carried away by both the French and Scot performance

France looked good on the counter, but Scotland gifted them chance after chance with some pretty silly play.

Scots were made to look better than they are by some diabolical French defence and tackling, especially by the backs. You'd expect Wales, Ireland and England to ask some much more serious questions of the French backline than the Scots did

Not sure why lamont was not on from the start. And what has happened to Euan Murray's scrummaging prowess?

All that said, Medard looked a danger for France and the French front row are beasts

Pluses for the Scots - Richie Gray and the back row. Gray looked immense - would love to see him in a Lions side with Palmer/Lawes /Bradley Davies

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Richard February 07, 2011 12:12 pm

If Richie Gray continues to play/ learn at the rate he is, he'll be the first name on the Lions team sheet.

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Anonymous February 07, 2011 1:29 pm

1- Good game to watch. 7 tries, runing rugby
2- What has happened to french defence?
3- Genius pass from TD

Can't wait for the next VI nations games!

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Massif February 07, 2011 3:27 pm

Maybe if France scored all their tries on counter attacks its because Scotland almost never kicks, they just keep the ball in their hands like the Aussies (not as easily though). The only way to get back the ball was in the ruck and France did that quite well, with a terrific Dusautoir as usual. Lamont should definitely be starting up next week end.

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kevdetoulouse February 07, 2011 7:10 pm

I am happy to finally see the French 3/4 doing something with the ball.

How could Lievremont possibly get rid of Medard and Poitrenaud against australia?!!

But this game was far from being real good: Loose tackles, faults...
Still a lot of work to do.
I hope it will be the reference match to the rebuilt.

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Flipje February 07, 2011 8:08 pm

I believe it is a bit early to jump into conclusions concerning both team expectations for the rest of the tournament.

This is just the first game....

I would just say it was a nice game to watch and I hope it will set the standard for the rest of the 6 nations.

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Anonymous February 08, 2011 12:14 am

'quick remark: Why the F*** do you show a photo of a Frenchman being well tackled for a French Victory highlights?'

All the others were showed the frenchies gouging...

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Tom February 08, 2011 3:23 am

Not really that impressed.
Beating Sctoland is good, but seriously, it's not the mark of a great side.
Sctoland at Murrayfield are difficult, they defend and kick well. Away from home, they're not that tough.
A country like france, who want to be seen as WC candidates, needs to beat Sctoland convincingly at home, or they are just pretenders.

The truth is that if you keep the ball in play and keep attacking, the French defence cracks. Australia worked this out a couple seasons ago. Just keep working through the phases, don't kick too much, and they leak tries.

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Anonymous February 08, 2011 4:47 am

Jonathan Davies' commentary is like nails running down a blackboard - there's something about the way he just reads a list of the names of the players involved in a move, during every replay.

"Blah blah...blah blah... blah...blah... brilliant"

SHUT THE !@#$ UP!

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Unebrindille February 08, 2011 11:04 am

Takes great courage to stay anonymous to accuse the French of being eye gougers.

Well, at least, they dont fake blood injury in order to cheat blatantly.

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Anonymous February 08, 2011 12:48 pm

@unebrindille:
yeah, well u know some of us are still not comfortable with France being on top of NH rugby... clichs live long a frustrated mind hehe

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Jonno February 09, 2011 6:44 pm

'Beating Sctoland is good, but seriously, it's not the mark of a great side.'

Firstly, its Scotland, not Sctoland (which is what you wrote about 3 times)

Beating Scotland is not a mark of a great side? How about losing to Scotland, as SA did in the autumn.

Just for the record, who else beat SA in the autumn?

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Tom February 09, 2011 10:46 pm

Alrite mate, relax, I'm sorry for misspelling Scotland, but I don't proof read these comments, I honestly don't think it matters at all.
You knew what I meant.
And again, sorry, but Scotland are not a great team, and beating them when you're playing at home should be a given for a World Cup contender.
Sorry again, obviously you're a Scotland fan who's offended that I've denigrated your team.
And again, I'm sorry to offend, but I genuinly don't rate Scotland as one of the best teams.
Certainly they've improved a great deal and are a tough proposition at Murrayfield.

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