Sunday Feb 11, 2018 Thomas brace not enough as Scotland edge out France in Murrayfield thriller

Thomas brace not enough as Scotland edge out France in Murrayfield thriller
6
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Scotland produced a remarkable comeback to beat France 32-26 in a 6 Nations thriller at BT Murrayfield, to take their first win of the 2018 campaign.

France dominated the scoreboard for the majority of the game, having taken an early 10-0 lead thanks to a Teddy Thomas try and two kicks from scrum-half Maxime Machenaud.

Scotland twice replied in quick succession through Sean Maitland and Huw Jones, but Thomas’ second try and a further Machenaud penalty helped the visitors take a 20-14 half-time lead.

There were no tries in the second half as indiscipline from both sides left it to kickers Baptiste Serin – who replaced Machenaud after the break – and Man-of-the-Match Greig Laidlaw.

The latter proved the difference and the Clermont scrum-half’s six second half penalties were enough to take Gregor Townsend’s men over the line for a fifth successive 6 Nations victory at home.

Nip and tuck the whole way

Ever the unpredictable, France came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and Thomas was the catalyst for both of Jacque Brunel’s side’s tries.

The first sent shockwaves across the Murrayfield crowd with a mesmeric step on opposite number Tommy Seymour. The winger then rounded Stuart Hogg to cross for an easy opening try, sending the thousands of travelling French support into raptures.

His second was a combination of ingenuity and the bounce of the ball. Again, Hogg was the unlucky party as the ball painfully slipped away from his grasp, allowing Thomas to canter in.

While France barely had to work for their scores, Scotland had to be patient. When they did manage to put the ball through the hands, they got their reward.

Maitland’s try finished off a lovely period of phases, with Hogg the instigator with a probing kick through sending French full-back Geoffrey Palis into desperate defence.

In response to Machenaud’s penalty, Jones picked a sumptuous line off Laidlaw from close-range to speed in under the posts.

In summary

In reality, this was a must-win match for both sets of players, but ultimately, Scotland showed that last weekend’s horror show against Wales was simply a blip. They still leaked silly tries but showed a resilience and determination to pull off a victory which seemed unlikely for 71 of the 80 minutes.

For France, this was a much improved performance to the one they produced the last time they visited Edinburgh, but was still some way off what they could have done.

They had the beating of the Scots in the opening 40 minutes but persistent infringing at the breakdown in the second period was the key. They matched the intensity of Scotland but failed to find the critical opening to overpower the home side.

credit: sixnationsrugby (UK only)

6 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    Hahah yeh I heard about that... I guess some Scottish fans made a comment about the French being beaten, perhaps the French responded by showing that they can do some beating of their own!

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    yes it was Saint Andre who disliked Trin Duc for some mysterious reason...... And I forgot a big name on that injury list: Parra! anyways just when you think we can't get any lower....it's seriously like watching a sinking ship https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/12/french-rugby-players-questioned-over-edinburgh-bar-fight

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Ahh ok, thanks for clearing that up, he did seem a natural at that position! I suppose all teams go through an ebb and a flow, but it seems Frances coach changing every few months, and lack of picking decent players etc Trinh-Duc would be a first pick for me years ago but (as we've discussed before) I think you mentioned he fell out of favour with a coach? Guirado is a solid player!!! Don't worry, Parisse (poor bloke) holds that record I'm sure!

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    A match which is a good summary of the actual french rugby: Talent will always be here, but wasted by bad coaching, poor fitness and lack of gameplan. same old story since 10 years. Forget the bad discipline which clearly costed the victory in the last 20 minutes, this team won't be able to win these matches without a new rugby strategy and philosophy. One game, France send the forwards, another time play a kick and chase game, the other they'll be invited to offload like fidjians... How can you imagine players finding their marks in that black hole? When they will be back in their clubs, they will find these marks... and in 2 weeks, they'll be back in selection with the same questions. With all respect to Brunel, if only Laporte had the bravery to name Cotter. French rugby doesn't need new players, they need a new vision.

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    No Beauxis has always played 10. He had a few bad seasons but is doing good right now at Lyon. anyways...... It's getting hard to be a French rugby fan, it seems like EVERYTHING goes wrong. It's almost mesmerizing to watch. Of course changing the coach 2 weeks before the tournament doesn't help! Also doesnt help that the injury list is so long: Fofana, Lopez, Dupont, Jalibert, Lacroix, Gourdon, Chouly, Ollivon, Goujon.... am I forgetting anyone? There was a lot of talk about the injury crisis for Wales and England, but it might be even worse for France. and I have to say I feel bad for Guirado, he really puts in work but will probably go down in history as the captain that had the worst losing streak ever.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    France.... Honestly they are the most unpredictable team out there... They pick Beauxis... A guy who according to commentators hasn't been in the mix for france for over 6 yes, and iirc he's a 15... Yet he slots in like a dream... I didn't notice him getting caught out particularly, despite being in a hugely important pivotal position... They seem like they have the ability to be top winners, yet their handling and discipline seems to be the only thing against them...

    Reply

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Thomas brace not enough as Scotland edge out France in Murrayfield thriller | RugbyDump