Six Nations: Gregor Townsend rues key tries in Scotland defeat | ‘A lot of satisfaction’ for France | Rugby Union News

Scotland had been well into the contest at 12-10, but two tries either side of half-time put France on course to secure victory; Les Bleus made it three wins from three in this year’s tournament with a first win at Murrayfield since 2014

Last Updated: 26/02/22 7:12 pm

Gregor Townsend was left to rue the key moments which went against Scotland either side of half time

Gregor Townsend was left to rue the key moments which went against Scotland either side of half time

Gregor Townsend lamented the loss of two tries either side of half-time as Scotland were ultimately thrashed 36-17 by Grand Slam hopefuls France at Murrayfield.

Les Bleus made a strong start and scored two brilliant tries in the opening 13 minutes but the home side looked to be in the ascendancy towards the end of the first half as a try from Rory Darge, just before the half-hour mark, helped cut the deficit to 12-10.

France march on with bonus-point win over Scotland

France close in on claiming the Six Nations title for the first time since 2010 with a 36-17 win over Scotland.

However, France scored a third try against the run of play in the very last action of the half, and then scored again two minutes into the second half to go 26-10 ahead and seize full command of the match.

“It was tough on the players, particularly the try after half-time,” Scotland head coach Townsend said, reflecting on those two scores. “We were disappointed not to have gone ahead when we had a couple of opportunities to score before half-time.

“We were frustrated to concede from a lineout on the half-way line when the momentum was with us (at the end of the first half). The belief was still there at half-time and we had learned a lot from the first half that we discussed.

“That French try (at the start of the second half) came from an attack around the 22nd when we had the ball so you can class it as a breakaway try. That must have been a blow for the players on the field.”

France won more moments than us in the game and we did not put them under enough pressure over the 80 minutes.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend

The French scored six tries while Scotland mustered just two, and Townsend – while pleased with the spirit his team showed – admitted they were beaten by the better side on the day.

“France won more moments than us in the game and we did not put them under enough pressure over the 80 minutes,” Townsend said.

“We put ourselves under pressure at times and France put us under pressure. There were some positives. Our scrum was very strong and the effort was there for 80 minutes.”

Scotland went into the match with high hopes but captain Stuart Hogg, who dropped the ball when he had a chance to put his side ahead at 12-10, admitted they did not do themselves justice.

Stuart Hogg looks dejected at full time of Scotland's defeat to France

Stuart Hogg looks dejected at full time of Scotland’s defeat to France

“It’s a horrible feeling because we wanted to give a true reflection of what we’re about and at times we showed that but unfortunately not enough,” Hogg said. “If you let a team like France get on the front foot, it’s very difficult to stop them.

“The first three tries they scored were very good but they were from our mistakes, which is very frustrating. We also let two try-scoring opportunities go in the first half.

“We spoke a lot about what’s needed going into the last two games but it’s a horrible feeling that we have to wait two weeks to go into the next game.”

Dupont: ‘A lot of satisfaction’ for France

The result ensured French remain on course for the Grand Slam, something they completed when they last won the Six Nations title 12 years ago.

Antoine Dupont was delighted with France's display against Scotland

Antoine Dupont was delighted with France’s display against Scotland

Paul Willemse, Yoram Moefana, Gael Fickou and Jonathan Danty all crossed to secure the try-scoring bonus point, with a second-half double from Damian Penaud adding some gloss to the final score.

It was France’s first win at Murrayfield since 2014 and captain Antoine Dupont was delighted with how they answered the questions posed to them by Scotland.

“There is a lot of satisfaction to be drawn from this game,” Dupont said. “We made a very good start, then we gave them some points. They came back but despite that, despite two or three errors in our camp, we did not panic.

“The state of mind has always been good, even if there were difficult moments. We stayed together, united collectively throughout the match, which paid off in the end.

“We did not necessarily have very good memories here at Murrayfield but we know the importance of all matches in the tournament, the away matches too.”

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