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Saturday Feb 10, 2024

Scotland vs France Guinness Six Nations player ratings

France defeated Scotland 20 – 16 at Murrayfield to get their 2024 Guinness Six Nations campaign back on track.

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Scotland’s head coach, Gregor Townsend, will be immensely frustrated as his team created several scoring opportunities but could only muster up one try to Ben White.

Scotland:

15 Harry Paterson – 6

A very solid debut for the youngster who looked assured under the high ball and was unafraid to carry back into the French defence. His kicking game was solid and crucially the moment didn’t look too big for him.

14 Kyle Rowe – 6

Nearly pulled off a late score to get his team back in front only to lose the ball in contact. His counter-attacking game is really good, and he took the limited opportunities that came his way.

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13 Huw Jones – 5

A mixed back for the centre, which had a number of handling errors but did show some of his usual attacking spark. In defence, he had a few crucial tackles and turnovers but struggled to contain Gael Fickou in their head-to-head.

12 Sione Tuipulotu – 3

Very quiet throughout and had a few handling errors that were costly.

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11 Duhan van der Merwe – 4

Pretty anonymous throughout as he rarely got his hands on the ball. He did save a certain French try albeit in controversial circumstances as he appeared to go high but got away with it.

10 Finn Russell – 7

Pulled the strings really well and will be frustrated that his team shut up shop so early. Some of his kicks were magically placed and his passing was generally on point.

9 Ben White – 7

Started well and scored Scotland’s only, his kicking game takes plenty of pressure off Russell and generally marshalls the Scottish pack around the park with authority.

8 Jack Dempsey – 5

Some strong carries and crucial ruck moments that stopped at least two French turnovers.

7 Rory Darge – 7

Clearly Scotland’s best option in the 7 shirt and was busy today in his return from injury. Several key tackles and turnovers whilst carrying strongly.

6 Matt Fagerson – 4

He is pretty quiet all around, but he just doesn’t feel as effective in the 6 shirt as he does at 8. He was plucked from the action early in the second half.

5 Scott Cummings – 6

Really good at line-out time as the Scots put the French under immense pressure throughout the afternoon. Hit so many rucks that it was tough to keep count, a true workhorse lock performance.

4 Grant Gilchrist – 6

Did well in replacement of the injured Richie Gray, like his lock partner Cummings he was industrious around the park and played a key role in the dominant Scottish line-out.

3 Zander Fagerson – 7

Dynamic in the carry and strong at scrum time against a powerful French front row, again another player with a high work rate.

2 George Turner – 6

Uber dynamic at times, he did leave the pitch for a HIA but came back and picked up where he left off with several strong carries. Really good with line-out throwing and a constant pest at the break down.

1 Pierre Schoeman

Big carries came in spurts for Schoeman, who was once again solid at the scrum, albeit he will be frustrated that his pack couldn’t take advantage just before half-time when they had a scrum on the French 5m line.

Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman (7), 17 Alec Hepburn (6), 18 Elliot Millar-Mills (N/A), 19 Sam Skinner (3), 20 Andy Christie (6), 21 George Horne (N/A), 22 Ben Healy (N/A), 23 Cameron Redpath (3)

France:

15 Thomas Ramos – 8

A really good performance from the fullback who cleaned up the French backfield whilst being metronomic from the boot as he kept his team in touch just long enough for them to steal it.

14 Damian Penaud – 6

Some really good moments but just enough by his high standards but was boxed in well by the Scottish defence. Defensively he put in some crucial hits and chased kicks brilliantly on what looked to be a heavy pitch.

13 Gaël Fickou – 8

The Player Of The Match was superb today and clearly got on top of his Scottish counterparts. He scored France’s first try and was defensively on point from the off as he cut off the Scottish outside backs.

12 Jonathan Danty – 5

Just not quite htiting the heights of the past two seasons, the La Rochelle powerhouse had several handling mistakes but did put in a few crucial tackles.

11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey – 7

Scorer of the match-winning try, the 20-year-old looks to have firmly confirmed that he is the best-left wing in the French squad. Crucially for him, he looks to be more confident under the high ball, and his try proved that he doesn’t need much space to create havoc.

10 Matthieu Jalibert – 5

Lacking control is the biggest criticism of Jalibert, and it was the case once again today. I continually pinged for being offside and not really making much of a dent with the ball in hand. Unfortunately for him, he is not making a strong case to keep Romain Ntamack out of the squad when he returns from injury.

9 Maxime Lucu – 4

Better than round one and had some good box kicks but he is so far of the sky high standard set by Antoine Dupont that he might well lose his place to Nolann Le Garrec who brought a spark when he came on.

8 Grégory Alldritt – 7

A really tough injury for the skipper that saw him leave on a stretcher in the 49th minute. While he was on, he was absolutely cracking with his carries, big hits and ability to obliterate rucks.

7 Charles Ollivon – 7

A workhorse that does the dirty work that is often unseen but he was a key cog in keeping the visitors in touch.

6 François Cros – 4

Pretty quiet throughout and is one of the French players who hasn’t been able to translate his club form to the Test arena yet this year.

5 Paul Gabrillagues – 6

A really good showing from the dynamic secondrow who was everywhere this afternoon. The one key knock will be his lack of efficiency at the line-out.

4 Cameron Woki – 4

The usually rangy and dynamic Racing 92 star did a lot of dirty work but didn’t have any of his usual flashy moments like his lock partner. The line-out was a disaster.

3 Uini Atonio – 4

The giant tighthead is not what he once was, his yellow card was fully justified as there were several incidents he could have been pinged for. The scrum right before half time was the biggest positive for him this afternoon.

2 Peato Mauvaka – 6

Busy as ever, but just not quite as effective in this team as he is for Toulouse.

1 Cyril Baille – 7

The best French front row on the day, his work rate around the park is a marvel. He might well be the most valuable French forward at the moment.

Replacements: 16 Julien Marchard (6), 17 Sébastien Taofifenua (4), 18 Dorian Aldegheri (5), 19 Posolo Tuilagi(6), 20 Alexandre Roumat(6), 21 Paul Boudehent(6), 22 Nolann Le Garrec(7), 23 Yoram Moefana(7)

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