Monday Feb 27, 2012 France leave Murrayfield victorious after Scotland scare

France leave Murrayfield victorious after Scotland scare
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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? 

32 Comments

  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Very nice, I am glad to hear that they behave in a civilised manner after what is in reality just a GAME.. :) Makes me smile to think that the old saying "what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch" is still alive.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Any idea what it was? A pint of beer with 8 shots of vodka? i.e A gift of a headache :)

    Reply
  •  frenchie
    frenchie

    I read that at the end of the game the Scottish team, via its captain, offered a gift to Nicolas Mas (French prop) who was for them the best player of the day... Class act Scotland!!

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Actually Oliver I didn't read your comment properly and so I didn't realise you weren't a native English-speaker. So, sorry for being so rude with my 'humbleness' comment.

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur

    1) My brother, clad in part-French part-Scottish gear, was at Murrayfield next to a Scottish buddy with a French girlfriend, he said the atmosphere was incredible and a million times better than at the Stade de France, which compared to smaller stadiums in France (like the ones in Toulouse or Clermont), is said to be a bit snotty and boring. 2) I don't think the French were stunned, it looked more as though it were the Scotts who were just on a total rampage. 3) Scotland and Wales have a definite advantage over France and Ireland for upcoming tournaments: age 4) Trinh-Duc complained a few times about late tackles, still a bit immature compared to Wilko or Carter who'll just absorb a dozen late tackles per match 5) I think members of the Scottish third-row might even make the Lions before Richie Gray (Denton & Rennie in particular) 6) I don't know what happened when Servat and Debaty entered, but they are both known to be explosive players, so if you have them come on at the 60th minute mark, they are bound to do some damage.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Stroudos are you saying Barclay was lying on the ground when he played the ball? I can't really see him playing it so early, although I think I might be able to see him having a knee on the ground when he first grabs the ball... again, not 100% on that as I think a French player is slightly in the way.

    Reply
  •  themull
    themull

    Barclay had released the player and gotten to his feet before he played the ball..Also, the tackler doesn't not have to come back in through the gate after releasing the player so it looks completely fine, albeit highly unusual, to me...

    Reply
  •  dstew
    dstew

    The Barclay tackle/poach didn't seem right when it happened live and certainly does not look right upon review. The tackler must roll away from the tackled player AND the ball. Instead, Barclay tackles, prevents Clerc from presenting the ball by hovering over him instead of rolling away, handles the ball while one knee is on the ground and preventing Parra from quick possession even though a ruck had formed by two french players in a bind over the tackled player. The fact that Scottish players had not countered the ruck does not somehow mean there was no infringment. Even McCaw would raise an eyebrow. Notice also that as Pape tackles Barclay afterwards, Barclay makes a forward pass in the offload as he is hauled sideways in the tackle. There are two infringements here that should never have led to a try. As far as Rougerie's perceived in-at-the-side clearing out, he actually starts with his feet behind the tackled player and rucks the man out falling sideways. perhaps he's off his feet by the end of the ruck but he began the ruck from an onside position. In any event, the Scots got away with one and the French may have as well. It's a wash.

    Reply
  •  frenchie
    frenchie

    On the Guscott comment: The man is probably not humble but i think he said that England should not worry too much of the French if they play the way they play against Scotland, and to be fair i think he's right. i thought the French were rusty (loads of the players haven't played in the last 2/3 weeks) clumsy, they dropped a lot of balls, were disorganised; Malzieu left his wing on the 1st Scottish try, on the 2nd try they didn't protect the ball in the ruck (or not?) , their line out was poor... Some good points? The French were good in the scrum, especially in 2nd half thanks to the subs, good attacking line given the number of balls they had to play. The French need to improve their game against England, it's going to be tough. A bit gutted for Scotland cause there was definitively space for a victory. What's going wrong with them??? Your thoughts? I thought they missed Blair for that game, who is better than Cussiter i believe.

    Reply
  •  kadova
    kadova

    French fan here having watched the match on the BBC. @Stoojay: happy you liked the French fans in Murrayfield :) The Flowers of Scotland a capella was magnificent, even when heard on TV. In the stadium, should be unforgettable ! There was no ruck for the second Scottish try, even the french TV said it, Parra was stunned, but after watching it again, i think the try is ok. Some mistakes made by referee Warnes, nobody is perfect. I didn't like Robinson complaining, French national coaches don't complain about referees (at least the last ones). Francois Trinh Duc lacks some maturity, he will stop complaining like that when he grows up a little more. Give him time... France captain Dussautoir is a model, always there in engagement, prolific tackler... French need to get into the match before the first 20 min, or we'll have problems against Ireland/England/Wales. But the coach is aware of that. I'm still confident we can go to Cardiff unbeaten. Very sad for Medard, but at least it's less serious than first thought, no tear of the ligaments. Should be 2 months off instead of 6 months.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    I think the fact that they took their chances against france was the one thing that made me sit back and not mind that Scotland lost this game.... Against England it was a case of "so close yet so far" with knock ons, missed kicks etc... This game Scotland took every opportunity given to them (I think) and more! yet were fairly beaten which in some ways is more relieving than the usual feeling of "what if" when I watch them play..

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Not true. Scotland always go up about three gears for England and that was no different this year: they just couldn't put away their chances in that game. Playing some nice enterprising rugby these days and it seems only a matter of time before it all clicks into place.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    "It was just a flanker doing his job" is correct, in that flankers have to play on the edge of the laws and maximise any possible advantage that presents itself at the breakdown. "Poor play by the French" is also fair as he should have been properly cleared out. Oh for a return to those halcyon days when a flanker lying about on the wrong side like this would have been given a thorough shoeing. But is was illegal:Law 15.4 (b): the tackler must immediately get up or move away from the tackled player and from the ball at once.Barclay did no such thing, he stayed on the ground and as a consequence stopped Clerc from presenting the ball and impeded Parra from getting to the ball. Law 15.4 (c): the tackler must get up before playing the ball and then may play the ball from any direction. Barclay was still on the ground when he played the ball. He got to his feet AFTER collecting the ball. Sanction for either/both of these infringements= penalty France. As you say though, lots of breakdown infringements from both sides went unpunished. You could find a direct correlation between the time in the match the French started to properly take a hold of the game and the time that the French started to notice that Barnesy wasn't really bothered about any breakdown shenanigans.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Oliver, he probably hasn't heard of the word 'humbleness' because it doesn't exist. I doubt he's heard of 'humility' either. He's one of those England supporters who lives in the past and thinks that England are the best team ever and can beat anyone. At least Brian Moore - who is painfully English - admits when England are bad, and praises other teams when they play well.

    Reply
  •  t0t0
    t0t0

    For the second scotish's try, at 2"13, don't you think that it's a forward pass?

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Great piece of play in as much as he got away with it, so fair play to him. But he could not legitimately contest that ball. Anyway, who gives a shit? Didn't change the overall result and made for a more exciting game.

    Reply
  •  ruggernut
    ruggernut

    Very very enjoyable game.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    LOL, now that would be amusing... I do agree though it is nice hearing him try and explain, or just using French terms... I suppose that is the issue with having a single body governing a collection of different nationality people... Think of the Japanese, the Russians... or the poor Americans XD (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

    Reply
  •  proptank
    proptank

    Barclay must have released the tackler as he was picking up and passing the ball - how do you pick the ball up and pass it without releasing the tackled player? He was also on his feet as demonstrated by the fact that he was running away from the tackle. Great piece of play from Barclay.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Yes I understand that he is not allowed to contest unfortunately I don't feel I am able to pinpoint where Barclay actually picks up the ball... I'm not trying to argue, I just can't see it personally... if you want to convince me then give me a time on the video where you see him lying down and picking up the ball, because as far as I can see Barclay makes the tackle and Clerc places the ball back towards his team and that is the only backward movement until Barclay is on both feet and picks it up... I might be missing an camera angle somewhere, but to me it doesn't look like he plays the ball until he is on his feet...

    Reply
  •  proptank
    proptank

    Whilst I think Barnes had a bit of a mare yesterday I was so pleased to hear him speaking in French. It's ridiculously unfair how most refs don't bother trying to speak French. It's no wonder the French have had discipline problems. Imagine a French ref only speaking French in a Australia vs England game - there would be carnage.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    "Offside" is irrelevant. (I realise I used that word earlier, that was a mistake). The offence is contesting the ball without releasing the tackled player and getting to feet first. I'll have a look for the IRB ruling, it'll be online somewhere.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Mate, it's not "my claim", it's a fact! Barclay's not allowed to contest that ball until he's released Clerc and got back to his feet.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    A few points: 1) impressed by the Scotts for such an entertaining game. This team might actually be going places. 2) impressed by the French: I believe they can play a lot better than this but still didn't look like loosing anytime during the match. 3) dissapointed by the attitude of some of the French players. Parra holding the shirt of (I believe) Jacobsen, getting a shove in return and falling to the ground immediately, trying to get him sent of. And almost every time I saw a close up of Trinh Duc, he was waving his arms in the air, complaining over something. Really poor attitude. I was verrrryyyy impressed by the French forwards though.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    I am not completely sure but I think Robinson has been referring to Rougerie who appeared to have trouble staying on his feet during the match...Which in all honesty, I do somewhat agree, there were quite a few French players diving over the top... Then again.. The Scots were no saints either...

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Calm down people... Whilst Guscott is an arrogant tool, he was referring to how the French played... I think we all know the dangerous French side when they turn up! However the fumbling bumbling French side which we saw initially is who Guscott was referring too... That being said because Scotland have been the underdogs for so long it's hard to tell whether they played really well or France played really badly.... I think the former personally..

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Not 100% sure on your claim that Barclay was lying down... I didn't think it was a problem at the time, and from the angles in the video here I can't see clearly when he picks it up... Never had any doubt of Clerc's pass, but now when I watch it back I am not too sure... it's made more difficult to judge by the tackle on Clerc... brilliantly worked try however!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Clerc's pass to Fofana looked fine to me. Second Scotland try was an outrageous offside. The IRB clarified this a while ago: where previously as the tackler you could immediately contest for the ball, now you have to release the tackled player and get to your feet before going for the ball. This incident was nowhere near even that - Barclay's still lying on the ground when he picks the ball up! Can't believe Wayne Barnes didn't call this, he had a perfect view. By the way, what's the deal with these selfless flankers? Vernon was home and dry when he gave that pass and Ferris the other day was practically over the line when he passed to Bowe (who it has to be said is hardly in need of charity to score tries!).

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Referee is Wayne Barnes, who I agree did not have a particularly good day at the office. Stuart Barnes is the tit on Sky Sports who always has a shocker.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Guscott is an arrogant twat. Always has been. Decent player in his day and I think a pretty competent analyst on BBC coverage, but his misplaced sense of arrogance is a fucking embarrassment.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    I get a real sense of enjoyment from reading such magnaminous praise from Dusautoir and Saint-Andre. Apart from the fact they are stating the truth, it shows a lot of class and epitomises the old values of the sport. Unfortunate again for Scotland, who really played some nice rugby, especially in the first half. But you could see the class of the French side in the way they never looked like they were panicking and kept their composure. Their ability to hit back seemingly every time Scotland got ahead must have had a huge effect on both sides' morale.

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur

    Scotland has been losing major games by a few points only even before the world cup, but this year you can tell they've become a formidable force. The French were lucky on a few bounces, and it's only when the forward packs started changeing that France reasserted itself in the front 8. I dare to say that the 1st French try comes from a forward flick-pass from Clerc to Fofana. I also don't understand how the 2nd Scottish try was allowed. Jones tackles, a ruck is then formed, but he just picks the ball up from the French side of the ruck where he finds himself ater his tackle and then goes and scores? If that's allowed then all teams should do it. Tackle, wait a bit for opposing defenders to commit themselves, pick the ball and up and score (and later argue that you're not offside since you're the tackler).

    Reply

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France leave Murrayfield victorious after Scotland scare | RugbyDump