Monday, February 27, 2012
Scotland scored two tries as they looked to upset World Cup finalists France at Murrayfield, but couldn't hang on for a win as the visitors came away 23-17 victors, keeping their hopes of a Grand Slam alive.
Scotland produced one of their better performances in recent times but the stats say that this was their fifth straight defeat, and third in a row in the Six Nations. They can however take a lot of positives from a game in which they scored two tries.
Had it not been for injuries to Rory Lamont, Greig Laidlaw, and Mike Blair, the Scots could well have sprung a surprise win over the French, who admitted later that they were caught off guard.
"We were taken aback by by the rhythm and dynamism of the Scots in the opening 15 minutes," said captain Thiery Dusautoir. "We got back into it little by little and found our own rhythm and gradually asserted ourselves on the match against a really good Scottish side."
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre echoed the sentiment, saying that it won't be long before Scotland come good on all their promise.
"The difference between winning and losing is in small details. When you look at Scotland's last four games, in the World Cup they lost in the last minute to Argentina and the try by England (in New Zealand) was in the 77th minute," explained Saint-Andre.
"Against England again in the Six Nations, Scotland created four or five opportunities but one turnover and England won the game. And against Wales they had control of the first half and then they had a yellow card and Wales scored two tries.
"We just said 'we're worried, we hope it wouldn't be us'. I'm sure Scotland will very soon beat a fantastic team because they have some fantastic players," he added.
France will need to win their next two games if they hope to have a Grand Slam finale showdown with Wales in Cardiff. It's a an uphill battle though with Ireland, England, and then Wales the three sides they face over the next three weekends.
Do you think France, with their classy backs and experienced pack, can go all the way?