Gabby Logan introduces live coverage of France v Scotland in the second round of the Six Nations. With commentary by Andrew Cotter, Chris Paterson and Ali Williams.
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Scotland fans are arriving in Paris. They must be pinching themselves.
The win against Ireland last week was their first opening weekend
victory in more than a decade. It sets up the afternoon clash against
France nicely. They are looking back to back opening wins in the six
nations for the first time ever. The clashes here have been tied recently
but you have to go back a long way for the last Scotland victory.
Townsend. It is on the line. And at the finish. Still on that side. A
first try for France! Just the start to the half Scotland did not need.
And he has got it in touch! This is heartbreaking. He has scored again
for France! They are now moving beyond Scotland. All of the points
for Lopez. It is a missed opportunity. And Duncan Taylor
reaching for the Linux! And still what a finish. -- reaching for the
line! A win for Scotland. Stuart Hogg. It is two. A sneaky way
through for the try. Scotland have won the opening match of this Six
Nations. Yes, it is a numbers game. Of course, Scotland will hope they
are on the right side of the numbers today. Welcome to Paris. Three men
alongside me played in many of the fixtures in the last ten or so
Scotland have failed to win. Tommaso Cassio played the last time Scotland
did defeat France in Paris. You know how hard it is for Scotland to grind
out those victories here. We love having you with us all the time,
Thomas. Especially this fixture because we can dig into the archives
and relive the moment when Scotland were storming of the first half,
really shocking from that day, going on to win the old five Nations. We
started really well. We scored that tried. We were surprised by the
quality of the Scottish game. That was the sort of thing of the team.
They played really well against us. If you do not play a very open game
against Scotland, if you get too conservative, you know you can be
punished. That is why we are scared to play against this Scottish team.
We like to see his blonde peroxide hair that day! That was a mistake. I
think Scotland produced some of the best attacking rugby, five tries in
the first half. Townsend pulling the strings. Michael Leslie going over
for the tries. We have compared this squad, Gabby, to the 1999 squad. I
think this is the first time we have a team that can match that. In the
first of against Ireland we saw an attacking performance almost as good
as that one. The challenge is to come here to a place they have not
won since 1999... Go back over the last ten victories and in the last
few years the victory for France have been quite small. Four points,
seven, seven. It has been closing. How important was that win last year
in Scotland, Skype and -- psychologically? There were lots of
close games, as you said. I remember Scotland leading into the last 20
minutes of the game. France making some changes with a couple of brig
-- big props. Playing the power game. We have to get away from that
this week. How much will it be in the mind of the coaching staff that
at the end of the tournament in May those rankings really count? The
polls are decided for the next World Cup. Scotland are at seven and
France and eight. You need to be a top aide side for those rankings to
be effective. It will be important to be in a good group. Even when we
lost in 99 in the Six Nations, we reach the final of the World Cup.
Maybe losing will not be a bad signal but we have to win this game,
especially in Scotland at home. It could be the start of something for
the French team. Forget the World Cup qualification. If Scotland win
today they go at six, but South Africa, their highest ever position.
Incredible to think we are on the countdown to the end of the career
of Vern Cotter as Scottish coach, he is moving on at the end of the
season. It feels like everything is aligning for this team now. And this
time this squad have been together for at least two or three seasons.
They get to know each other well and they are bonding and you can see
that on the pitch now. We will talk more about these teams in a moment.
This match in Paris as the final instalment of this weekend's Six
Nations. First let's go to Rome. Ireland were the visitors yesterday.
It was a particularly profitable afternoon the two players in
particular. Played back by Sean Healy. Advantage against Ireland. A
number of mistakes. And out wide it goes. CJ Stander! The South African
turned Irishman with his fourth try in green. Ominous for Italy. Still
they go. Within four meters of the line. It comes back to Keith Earls.
CJ Stander once more. From a stand still he drives and scores! What a
try from CJ Stander. CJ Stander again! CJ Stander! It is a hat-trick
for CJ Stander! Ireland have another try. They are ripping Italy apart.
And CJ Stander, three tries for Ireland. What a man, what a moment
and what a game he is having. Gilroy skips inside. Gilroy winning that
debate. Another try for Ireland and Gilroy has his touchdown now. Try
for Gilroy. Defiance to the last. Luke Maclean the... Rolled on from
the RG. He thinks he can do everything. The kick ahead from the
inside flanker. It falls for Gilroy and it has done. Gilroy will be true
for another. Craig Gilroy, his second and Ireland pass the
half-century of points. Fortune favoured Gilroy on that occasion.
Cruel bounce for Italy. This is cruel punishment for Italy.
Advantage being played, how it goes and Gilroy has a hat-trick! -- out
it goes. The tries are raining down for Ireland. They finish with
another, passing 60 points. A record win for Ireland over Italy in the
Six Nations. STUDIO: The first ever bonus point for tries in the Six
Nations for Ireland which could be crucial in the final day if they are
still in the contest. It is hard to see what the positives were for
Italy at all. We know in the match against Wales we had that
stereotypical performance of 50 minutes withstanding the pressure
but yesterday there was not even that for Conor O'Shea's team. It was
based on power. The first half they blew the Italians away and they
could not stop any attacks from CJ Stander, Henshaw, O'Brien. Ireland
are very good at what they do. I have to say Italy, that is 96 they
have conceded in two matches so far. Nine tries yesterday. The next game
is against England at Twickenham in two weeks. We knew Conor O'Shea had
a tough job. We are seeing just how difficult it is. It takes time for a
coach to change his style and culture. I would not judge them too
early. I think this is the start of the journey. They won against South
Africa in the Autumn Internationals. Maybe this match came to early and
they thought the job was done. But they are in front of reality and
they have difficulties against teams like the Irish. And they lost
against Tonga. They are very up and down at the moment. It is important
not to allow those kind of critics who say they should have a
relegation system and give Georgia a chance, these kinds of defeats give
oxygen to those arguments. And they are valid discussions to have with
Georgia. If that continues in the next few matches, England at
Twickenham, be honest, you could see another scoreline, the evidence
suggests they would. That conversation really becomes top of
the agenda. We are about the same page. Have you ever watched the hit
man and her? I always wanted to broker from a disco. Apparently we
are! Apology for being drowned out by the DJ. We love it in Paris.
There was a big game after that one, Wales against England, always a
highlight in the International rugby calendar. Yesterday at tea-time it
did not disappoint. COMMENTATOR England still have it. Jonathan
Joseph. Long. Leigh Halfpenny. Makes the tackle. Here comes Mike Brown.
The Welsh defence is still holding out. Until now! Do not move your
feet! And Wales turn pressure into points. Liam Williams can and
scores! They take the lead. James Haskell.
Joe Launchbury. Change of direction. Brown. He loses the ball. The
referee has the whistle to his mouth. But he is not sure. He's not
sure, he says. And England are one foot short. They drive. Pushing
forward. Young's has to go digging for it. They go over on the right.
Interception! By Dan Biggar! Elliott Daly. Footballing skills from
Elliott Daly. And the position goes from England to Wales. Alun
Wyn-Jones... Wales in no rush but at some stage they are going to have to
clear the lines. Jonathan Davies. Straight down the field towards
George Ford. Farrell. Runs down and scores! England are
going to win again. Danny Care. It has been an outstanding game of
rugby. Eddie Jones is team remain undefeated, 15 games goes to 16
games. England have beaten Wales at the principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Wales, 16. England, 21. STUDIO: So this rocking stadium. Beneath it you
can see the table looks like this heading into the final match of this
round. England of a maximum of eight points but they have not picked up
any bonus points. Ireland have a losing bonus point for coming within
a try and conversion against Scotland and the winning bonus point
against Italy, who knows how significant are those points will be
come the final day of reckoning? Italy yet to get off the mark.
France looking for their first win today and Scotland will be hoping to
join England on eight points or more at the end of today. Let's discuss
that incredible England victory. Wells have been a dominant,
producing a performance we have not seen in a while, especially since
the autumn tests. -- with the autumn tests. -- Wales have been a dominant
force. It had pace, intensity. A fantastic advert for the Six
Nations. The policy was right up there. It came down to a 75 minute
performance by Wales. They could not keep it going. Fatigue set in. They
withstood a lot of pressure. All they are looking to do is clear
their lines. Dan Biggar is not in position. There he is, getting back.
Jonathan Davies is not used to clearing his lines. Doesn't even get
close. That is the 15 yard line. You have got to applause two brilliant
passes but in particular this one from Owen Farrell asked Elliott
Daly. He holds Roberts and Alex Cuthbert. Then a race which Elliott
Daly wins. I thought Cuthbert was going to get him. I thought fatigue
set in. Their semi-different parts. Wales looked like they were there to
kick -- set up Davies. Sinckler ready to make a charge and a great
effort from him. A front row player making the game changer. The angle
that Jonathan Davies is trying to make the touch, because of the
pressure from Sinclair, he puts the ball into the middle of the field.
That is a shortened line Wales have to defend with. What I like about
this English team, they play every movement like the first one. You can
see the quality of the past, the running, Elliott Daly, England, when
you run after Dan Biggar ten minutes earlier, how he managed to go around
and convert and score, unbelievable. They are finding ways to win games.
Owen Farrell is pivotal to that. I think he has had that winning
mentality that he brings. All the players we have highlighted,
Sinclair, that effort was what nobody really sees but Farrell is
the beating heart of the team. You can see him bossing it. When we were
talking about watching... He goes up to the referee and asks how long to
go, he says, ten minutes and he says, I am taking the points, he is
bossing it. It is a squad game. It is an 80 minute game. None of the
starts in the first 20 -- starts the first 20, and the last 20, you play
the whole match. If another team fatigues England are going to
pounce. The England bench made such an impact. Same with France when
Danny Care came on getting the ball away. We saw it again against Wales.
Eddie Jones calls them finishers. Not the bench, finishes. A 23 man
squad, hate guys coming on, they are going to finish the game, and they
have done it two weeks running, so are really affected. They have got
their aura as well. -- effective. Let's go back to last weekend and
find out how these two teams got on. The excitement of the Six Nations
remains a constant. Good John. And a try is going to be scored. Two
chances, two scores. Two tries for Scotland. This is great from
Scotland because they have one. -- won it. France made more metres than
any other team last weekend but that loss against England leaves them
with four straight defeats in the Six Nations. Gina theirs has made
just one change today, in at flanker, Goujon. We will hear a
fascinating story shortly. Just one enforced change as Gough and try to
win the opening two games in the Six Nations for the first time ever.
Ryan Wilson is injured. There was plenty to enjoy last week for the
head coach Vern Cotter and he has been talking to Lee McKenzie. You
have a lot of expense in French rugby with playing and coaching, I
think ran about 17 teams. -- 17 years. Does that give you any
advantage in knowing what France are going to be throwing at Scotland
today? I suppose a little bit of an idea. It is common sense. I suppose.
They have not won a game for a while and they are desperate to win and
they will throw everything at us. They are passionate when they get on
their home soil and gets to 80,000 people supporting them. We've got to
play smart, execute well and try and put the pressure back on them so it
works against them but it is going to be tough. France have a huge
pack. What have Scotland worked on to counteract that and just to be
able to get another hand against Guy Noves side? It is body position and
trying to get down underneath and work hard and try and turn them
around. They go well going forward but probably have trouble turning
around at times. So trying to get them to turn around. Take the wind
out of their sails with some smart kicking. We had to be ready for it.
And what opportunities we do get we had to be able to score with them
and keep the game is as close as we can in the last 20 minutes. And
hopefully try and put some pressure on. And some smart play. The one
thing we know is that there are a lot of Glasgow players in this
Scottish team. Eight of them today. Jones set to join next season. You
coach them on a day to day level. You can see all sorts of reasons why
that would be an advantage. For one thing Glasgow are doing very well
and they bring great optimism and team spirit into the squad.
Confidence is massive at international level. You have got
players here that have defeated Leicester away from home, 43-0. Last
week the win against Ireland was fantastic. They are brimming with
confidence. Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg, when they are on fire they are
difficult to handle. International coaches do not have a lot of time
with their players. We have a nucleus of one club who know each
other and it is a similar style of rugby, Gaby, there are some nuances
which are different but the star they play, off-loading at pace, high
tempo is how Gregor Townsend coaches in Glasgow. Greig Laidlaw, Hugh
Jones, they fit in seamlessly into a well oiled machine. We said earlier
the first half against the Irish last week was a wonderful way to
stop the campaign, the whole Six Nations. It looks like we are on
free fantastic 80 minutes of rugby. The Irish came back a bit in the
second half and thwarted that. Mike, you look closely at how Scotland
took advantage, the forwards in particular, gaining the extra
metres, setting up really quick ball. The back three took the
headlines. The Ford carries were sensational. That got them on the
front foot. Hamish Watson initially get it here. The Irish use a
slightly different techniques to try and hold him up. He moves on. He has
taken a next seven, eight metres. The cow quick that ball is. He
unleashes Finn Russell on the outside to make full use of the
players. Josh doing the same. Players on the pitch making it
regards. Look at that first contact, where it takes place. If that is
stopped here we lose momentum. An extra seven, eight, nine metres.
Ready to play front football for Finn Russell. Will that be harder to
do against France? It will be because France will initially tackle
low. The Ireland team tackles low but the ball comes back here really
quickly. It is difficult to get quick ball in this scoring area of
the pitch. Look at the numbers Finn Russell has got. Keith Earls is the
last defender. There is an opportunity to score but he went
short. There is going to be a difference. This French term, I
think the way they come out, they will come out really hard. -- French
team. Really low to start with. But as I see fatigue, I see the tackles
going higher, soaking up a little bit. It is going to be an 80 minute
game. I think the intensity that you put in the game is so high but after
60 minutes we might struggle. We think the bench will be very
important for us. Last week against England we struggled with that. I
think we need to but some power in. The French back is the area we have
had in the last years and that is why I think we will try to, get into
the contact and try and drop the ball from you guys. International
rugby is a game of inches. You see them getting across the gain line
here. But the accuracy of the passing, Finn Russell, Hugh Jones,
fizzing out very flat passes to get the space to Stuart Hogg. If those
passes are slightly behind he has to slow down and does not get in. It
was a brilliant combination of hard work and executing good skills. We
saw that from the French a moment ago. They have got plenty of inches.
The biggest pack ever for France. Today the scrum is going to be so
important. And maybe for Scotland it is about doing what they did last
week and making it not as effective as the opposition would like, not
gaining as much from the set pieces. The first two scrums, this is the
very first of the day and the ball is sitting there and the more it is
sitting there the more power came through from Ireland. The Scottish
scrum was obliterated here. The second scrum which we are showing
now happened again. This is going to be a long afternoon, you thought.
In. It was sheer dominance but the modern game is such that was only
six scrums in the whole match. It did not have the influence it might
have had in years gone by. This is what Scotland are up against. Look
at the French pack. Destroyed England last week. This is what
Scotland need to do, try and make it the same game as last week, not set
piece dominated or focusing on that, get it fast, wide, get the big
forwards running and they have a real chance. This is where Fraser
Brown over Ross Ford is interesting. Because of how Ross is built he is
so big and has such big hits, he does not really hooked the ball. He
relies on power and the weight coming through. Brown does hook the
ball. Maybe they are -- maybe they are looking for the quick heel to
move the ball away. The French are keeping the best props for the end
of the game because the coaches thinking the most important scrums
are at the end of the game. Slimani is on the bench. Maybe they will
make the decision. Fraser Brown's opposite number is the French
captain. His grandparents came over to France from Spain to escape the
Spanish Civil War and it is that background which are shaped him as a
person and his playing career. Louis Picamoles in charge of it. He
has to be, surely... That is good play. And who is there
again? The French captain. Brilliant. Guirado for the try. What
a try for France and it is the captain who scores.
A story of a French sportsman who is incredibly proud of the position he
has earned for himself. And what does he bring to this team? He is a
hard worker and a great leader. He moved from Perpignon and became the
captain of Toulon. You can see against Scotland last year, his
passing is much better. And he gets the support in this attack and he
manages to score a try at the start of the game. He is very strong in
the scrum. Very efficient in the line-out. Even if today the French
bank is very heavy and it will be hard to find the target, especially
against the greys, he's very efficient to take the ball and slow
the pace in the ruck, especially with the back row, which is a big
choice from Guy Noves. A big choice in the breakdown, you would think.
That is what Scotland did well last week against Ireland, who normally
dominate the breakdown. The likes of John Barclay, Hamish Watson, can
really make an impact there today. A man who knows the French captain
very well is a former team-mate from Toulon, a former all Black, Ali
Williams, he also knows a bit about French rugby and Lee McKenzie is
going to find out what the things about this French side. You have
played alongside some influential captains in your time and you also
know Guirado. What does he bring to the French team? Is a special guy.
One of the ones who leads by example. He is fearless with his
body and gets himself in positions he probably should not. Is one of
those leaders were you look at him and go, if he is doing it, I had to
do it as well. I really enjoy watching him play. I think is having
a big impact on this French team. There has been a bit in the press
about the French side not being quite as fit as they should be. Do
you agree with that? What other witnesses do they have Scotland must
exploit today? Fitness is one of those things in terms of, is the
individual fit, or is the team fit? I think the style of French play in
the 14 is more difficult and physical and more stop and start. We
will see in the Six Nations this year the intensity that all the
teams are playing with, maybe the British and Irish Lions have
something to do with selection, but they are playing with a real
intensity will stop Kirby catching the French out a little bit but
generally I do not think they are that unfit.
This time last year, Guy Noves had just got his hands on this French
side. How much have improved from last year? I think you are talking
about cohesiveness. They have had more time together, got the ball,
they have said that their priority as a French side, a national side,
-- they have got Rand Paul. They are resting, maybe there is a bit more
priority in the French side, the club side. I think some good
positive changes are happening for the French side. Thanks, Ali. We
will hear more from Ali later as part of our commentary team. This
man, Louis Picamoles, was certainly one of those worth picking out. He
made 131 metres, seven defenders, four off-loads, great game. He has
had a journey to the Six Nations very early. We missed him. Every
time he has the ball you need to three to -- you need two or three
guys to stop him. Between eight and nine, he is very important in the
French team. Serin is very quick. His power and speed can make the
difference. The guys improved a lot. They are much better. The French
coaches are wanting a bit more from him in terms of defence. You need to
chop him down the legs. If you go upstairs and tackle him, no chance,
he has so much power. That is one of the things Scotland are really good
at, they take the legs away and get him to compete on the ground. It's
not the whole picture for him, is it? The French would like to see him
work a little bit harder than he does. There are two sides of Louis
Picamoles. There is the attacking side, where he has got 20 out of 20,
and the defensive side, where the French coaches need a bit more from
him, they want him to be stronger in the head. I think you can do a bit
more on that. He is like you, Thomas! Yeah, I never tackled! You
have to tackle when you play rugby. Scotland have plenty of attacking
runners. In the autumn internationals, Huw Jones made a
name for himself. His journey in international rugby has been
slightly unorthodox. Choose life, choose rugby, choose self belief
when others doubt you. Choose a gap year in South Africa and take it by
storm. Choose your future. Choose Scotland. What a game to get us
under way here. They have beaten Ireland in the opening match! Did
you manage to calm down a bit after that fantastic win at the weekend?
Yes, definitely. We spoke about how we didn't win our first game in the
Six Nations for a long time. Beating Ireland was massive. It was probably
the hardest game I've ever played, the most defending we have ever
done, I think. Tell us about your journey into professional rugby? We
you went to South Africa on a gap year, were you heading over there to
become a professional rugby player? No,. Particularly. I thought taking
a gap year was a great idea because I didn't really want to go uni
straightaway. I took the opportunity to go down to Cape Town and join an
amateur club. I think one of the analysts saw on our university
Wikipedia page that I was Scottish because I was born in Edinburgh. And
obviously immediately made a few calls, got in contact. It's always
been a dream of mine to play in the Six Nations. To finally got some
might get my first time in the Six Nations and to get a win is a dream
come true. This is imperative for a centre of Scotland. This was the
final one. Usually those players are joking and thinking, imagine if we
did this? To go for it in the game was quite brave but it paid off. How
would you sum yourself up as a player? What are your qualities? I
am an instinctive player, I play the situation as it is, as I see it.
Scottish rugby is really lucky to have you one side. I suppose if
there is any concern about you, you could sum it up in three words, jam
and eggs! What is this?! I don't know where I got this from. One
morning I just decided I was going to have jam on my toes, and then I
was offered eggs as well and thought, why not put them all
together? It's one of my favourite breakfasts, it goes really well, I
urge everyone to try it. Let's dared to France. Our big occasion are you
expecting this to be? It should be massive. It's my first ever time in
Paris as well. So I'm quite excited about that. Coming here, I think it
will be a massive occasion, a massive game. They lost their first
game so they will be wanting to bounceback, we want to keep this
momentum going, really. It should be a huge one. Well, the gap year is
going from well! It got him to Paris for the first time. What a find he
was, clever scouting. Born in Edinburgh and very much part of the
Scotland setup. He showed his nerves in the autumn test with this moment
right here. Nobody knew much about him but we certainly did after the
first couple of games. He took that try really well. He was an
instinctive player, this is what he does. Just a little butter footwork.
The pace was just so good -- the drill bit of footwork. He is not
just a try scorer, he a tri-. The off-loading to make them. He did it
in the autumn Test. He had a relatively quiet game last week. It
might be his turn this afternoon. I think he is going to be better this
week. He hadn't played since the last November Test. I think he had
six weeks' holiday after that Test because of the changing seasons. He
has so much talent and I think you will be even better for this week.
What is great with the Scottish backline, it's not just one
attacking force. It's not just Stuart Hogg or Huw Jones, you have
firepower all over the place. It might be a Seymour or Maitland or
Russell. It wasn't necessarily Finn Russell's greatest game last
weekend. He is one player who you can rely on with consistency, but he
didn't have many moments in the games developed he has that ability
to do something. Sometimes it might not be him making the break, but he
has ability to make space for somebody else. A key part of the
Scottish game. There is so much talent and excitement in that
backline. Stuart Hogg will today on his 50th cap for Scotland before the
age of 25. I mean, this is a phenomenal record when you look down
at the history, you see the players that he is jumping ahead of in terms
of that cap rate. Look at the confidence he has scoring tries,
flicking it over to Tim Visser to go in the corner. You thought he was on
good form last year in this game, but last week he took it to a whole
new level, scoring a try like this, which you would expecting to do.
This was a team try. This is what he has got, the pace, the balance, the
vision, the awareness, just fantastic. He is so relaxed, though,
and he is loving his rugby. I sent him a message this morning to say,
good luck in your 50th game. I asked him, what are you up to this
morning? EZ, I'm hiding in the cupboard, Tommy Seymour is in the
toilet and I'm going to give him a fright! That is when he is at his
best, he's a free spirit. The French team, you know, they will have to be
careful with the kicks. If give some balls to him, he will make the
difference. He has got a lower gravity, you know. He can run very
fast, he is very skilful. You told me he is getting 50 caps today. He
said he wants to get 53 caps because that will make him the most capped.
I'm sure Jim would be happy to see him go on to 100 if he keeps playing
rugby like this and keeps being at the forefront of famous Scottish
victories. It brings me round of the inevitable question. Predictions,
Andy? I said earlier, if Scotland can play the fast and fluid game
that they have last week they have got a real chance. If it is set
piece dominated, that brings France right input. The confidence Scotland
have got last week, winning that game when it looks like they were
coming close, you cannot quantify the confidence you get from winning.
We have shown that we can compete against the best, the French team. I
really think it is time to win now. I get the final say, do I? It's all
down to you! It shouting out for a draw, isn't it with Becks mark you
can't have one vote for Scotland, one for France and won a draw! If
France are able to get in from a physical point of view it will be
difficult. I believe this team are ready to win for Scotland. We have
to get take falling all over us. The atmosphere is incredible. We know
the crowd can turn on the team if they don't like what they see.
Scotland are going to try and get a very famous victory. You have to go
back to 1999, the last time that Scotland won here. As they line up
from the anthems, you are going to hear from your commentary team,
Chris Paterson, Andy Williams and Andrew Cotter.
# Of Lara Scotland # -- oh Flower Of Scotland
# When will we see you again # And in the past they must remain
hatched But we can still rise now # But we can still rise now
# And be the nation again # Allons enfants de la Patrie
# Le jour de gloire est arrive! # Contre nous de la tyrannie
# L'etendard sanglant est leve # L'etendard sanglant est
leve # Aux armes,
citoyens Marchons, marchons! #
COMMENTATOR: Great noise around the Stade de France. We had some moments
of reflection. Yesterday came the news that a former All Black had
died. And of course, last week the news came that the very
inspirational South African player had lost his battle against motor
neurone disease. A moment of pause to remember Lewis van der
Westhuizen. What a player, Joos van Nawaz
Tewson, was. He remembered here. Look at this enormous pack that Guy
Noves has chosen once again. Atonio the biggest of them all. Maestri a
vast creature in the second. There is one change with Goujon coming
into the back. And in the backs, same again, the dangerous fullback
Scott Spedding impressed last week. The wingers will certainly be a
handful. The one change to Scotland comes in the form of Ryan Wilson.
John Barclay in at the flag. Allan Dell had a tough time last week. He
will opt to get underneath Atonio in the scrum. Zander Fagerson at tight
head. No changes to the backs. Dunbar and Jones looking to tighten
up defence today. A French newspaper said that Russell and Hogg are the
best attacking players. Slimani for Scotland. John Hardie
has made it timely recovery from injury. You can see, the South
African referee. A charity kick-off before we get underway in this that
the France. The pitch as well is pristine. They have been having
problems with the pitch at the Stade de France in the past. It has been
delayed and it looks superb. We're about ready to get underway.
Vakatawa, so dangerous in the wings. Scotland were gathered in a huddle
for a long while Blair as France were relaying information. Full to
capacity at Stade de France. The final game this weekend of the Six
Nations. Camille Lopez will get us under way.
Stuart Hogg will expect today. So, Camille Lopez it is to get the
game going in this that the France. Taking a real stretch by Jonny Gray.
Then carried by Richie. Immediately, the captain, Guirado,
taking down by Alex Dunbar. Serin complaints. The penalty is earned by
Scotland's defence. France hanging on. And interesting setup. Great
kick off with Jonny Gray. Scotland tried to exit. They were turned over
to midfield. A really good one down the channels. Finn Russell cleared
the penalty. It is a kick. You would have been proud of that. You have
really got to settle yourself. He sets himself quite well bear and
takes it. That's going to be interesting. Fiercely contested in
the middle. Jonny Gray got it down for Scotland. Spins into the
challenge. Scotland's first visit to the French, up against a few of his
team-mates today. Hamish Watson, flat ball inside, carried in by
Tommy Seymour from the wing. A little false start. Tries to carry,
hold him up. Comes back from Laidlaw. Back by Sebastian
Vahaamahina, who is sizeable. The brass band is playing. Strauss
carries again. A little spell from Zander Fagerson.
France have the ball. They don't need the scrum is. Nakaitaci this
time. Still going. Great power. France making good ground. Still
with France. Nakaitaci again, gets it to Vakatawa, things looking up
for France. Goujon! Into the 22. Guirado throws his body in, and the
ball comes back. Maitland is a flyer. The last line of defence was
there. France hurled bodies upon it. Hamish Watson has to leave. And now
France in that intersection. Huw Jones flying up, couldn't quite get
it. Wow, what a start! That was
incredible. By the way, there is a mad Fijian running around there with
no but on, makes it even more interesting! Soap -- no but on. The
turnover left to right. Duchamp carries outside channels. A
turnover, Scotland play a lot of pressure on. Look at Allan Dell,
flipping it away. We thought Sean Maitland was going to make it all
the way. Such an open game, such physicality in the contest. Such
physicality in every tackle. He has taken an early knock, Serin.
Machenaud could come on for him. It was actually Serin who made it back
to make the tackle. Maitland is brisk and has a yard of
pace. He is very, very quick indeed. So, I think all players welcoming
the pause there. The opening three minutes have been entertaining. So,
heading towards the first scrum, which will be interesting as well.
France have the bigger men, certainly. This will be an
interesting contest, because you have smaller men such as Allan Dell
for Scotland against Antonio. It doesn't necessarily follow the great
scrummagers, big men, there are ways around that. Definitely. France are
going into this game with a huge mindset of the scrum, the first one
is important. There is a difference in the pathways, an enormous
difference. Scotland holding firm at the moment.
Serin takes and gets to Camille Lopez, he took his time there. It is
high, Maitland underneath it. Nakaitaci getting his attention.
Scotland's ball to play with again. A little shuffle forward from
Barclay. Now Rosol. Tries to chase it down himself. Finds its way to
Camille Lopez. Deep into the Scottish 22.
Stuart Hogg loves a spiralling kick, it's old school, a beautiful kick to
watch. It will be France's line-out just outside the Scottish half. A
controlled exit, I thought Nakaitaci could have put more pressure on Sean
Maitland. Finn Russell identified the space behind him. It was
actually Guirado, the French captain, who was in the line.
Straight over the top. So, France, a bit of invention at
the line-out. Carrying the whole ten metre line. Serin again, just held
off by Sebastian Vahaamahina. Serin points the way. They will try to
venture down the blindside. But Scotland strip it, illegally so,
says Jakupovic. -- says Jaco Peyper. Both sides are being direct in the
first and second phase. The forwards coming round, creating a bit of go
forward and going wide. The French have contact us well, already have
three or four off-loads. They have averaged almost 19 off-loads in the
games in the last few months. You can see the big ball-carriers. A
shot at goal for Camille Lopez, who scored all 15 points in the win here
against Scotland a couple of years ago. This is the reason for the
infringement. Josh Strauss was OK initially, he was in a good
position. He went back with his hand and was penalised for not supporting
his own body weight. A good strike! Three points for
France. Six minutes gone inside the Stade de France. And the home side
Leeds. A tough kick for an opener, almost
50 metres on the angle on the left-hand side for the left footer,
but a good strike by Camille Lopez. He is really important to how the
French play today if he is on song, you can affect the game as of late.
-- he can affect the game massively. Well taken on the far side.
Given to the giant, Atonio. Back to the cow, and an! -- back to
Scotland try and hold their man up. France tried to get it to ground,
but they do not. Scotland get into the scrum. And explain what's going
on there, trying to get them all to ground. There was a couple of things
on there. It was well taken, Gael Fickou decides to take it at the
last minute. I think the ball slipped out by hand of Spedding.
Barry is an side. With the help of Jonny Gray, they managed to hold the
player off. And then the ball is turned over. If you can't get the
ball to ground, you lose possession. Duchamp in on the flank for France
today. A good attacking position. We have the blindside.
Interesting, the referee, Jaco Peyper, taking the weight, he wants
the Scottish team to put more weight and engage more rather than sit back
a bit. A lot of weight coming through from the French side.
France, Strauss, has to be quick. Just without into touch, was it
Serin? France will have the scrum. But again, it might be a hard
afternoon for the Scottish scrum. France or in control. Scotland
wanted to go the opposite way. Opening up the play. France wanted
out on the left, a lot of the power coming through from Cyril Baille.
That makes it difficult for Scotland to feed the ball to the right-hand
side. They are forced to turn over. So, French ball now.
Atonio rep linger way. Down he goes. -- rippling. There were not that
many scrums in Scotland versus Ireland. I think there were five or
six. That played into Scotland's hands. France would want to use an
obvious area of superiority. They look to dominate that set piece
area, they want to dominate it. Looking at the French backline, they
all very flat. It suggests they are going to kick to clear. Sometimes if
you have real confidence in your set piece scrum, you know it is going to
be stable or you can manipulate it one way or the other. The flat
lines, as a Scotsman and you are thinking, who is able to kick that
and have that chase? Down it goes, square and steady. Square and steady
from Scotland, free kick to France. You can see from the shots,
launching their bid for the France 2023 World Cup. It's a sorting out
period of their front row. What's your technique? Are you engaging, or
do you want to take the battle? Hi from Lopez, taken well by Hogg. Who
has got himself away. Flat ball, Richie Gray, the power drives on
through Serin, the slight figure at scrum-half. Scotland on the front
foot again. Huw Jones, Goujon gets to him.
Pacult up so quickly. Fagerson, -- tackles up. Fagerson, a lump of a
man who allows what is to hit him. Scotland half a dozen phases, but
heading backwards at the moment. Hamish Watson, trying to stand still
with the ball rolling on. So, the decision, through Spedding
with plenty of time, it sits up for the fullback. And he puts but an
ball. Again, Scotland, plenty of ball to play with but not much
doing. They are being met with very fierce defence. The cat this
contact, leading by example. Fagerson being hit by Picamoles --
look at this contact. Rolling hard onto the ball, putting pace, but
being met with the physicality from the French defence. When Stuart Hogg
kicked that goal away, it looked as if it was a great option. But I
think they had to get the ball and put pressure. I think it says
something about Scotland's front row options at the moment that Fagerson
was asked to play 80 minutes last week. The youngest man in the Six
Nations. If the line-out goes wrong. And, a chance now for France. Given
to Fickou, onward to Spedding. The winger, Nakaitaci. Scotland use
touch as their friend, and it helps them out in the end. The set pieces
are not going well for the visitors. No, we talk about props, they play
60 minutes now effectively. You know how important the depth is in a
squad. A lot will be asked again Fagerson today stop like this is
actually a good defence. Huw Jones helping out Sean Maitland. I like
the fact that props are playing 80 minutes. It should be expected of
them. I think credit is on the Fagerson, he did that. He has a
strong game. -- credit to Fagerson. He has a huge workrate. Barclay
lets, got it down to Laidlaw, and Phil Russell sees a little bit of
open countryside. Beautifully placed kick by Russell. Quickly taken by
France, and in two attack you. Under pressure. Does well to get that
pass. Scotland will have the line-out an
hour in just about the same place. Taken back into the 22. Worked very
well for Scotland. The universe. Scotland are very confident with
their line-out. I think this will be a big platform for them for the
whole match. Just to attain a bit of certainty around the clarity of
staff. Kicked by Finn Russell. Jonny Gray took it down for Scotland. Held
at the back by Fraser Brown. Scotland going nowhere. They have
used it once. Brown spins it to Laidlaw. Out it comes to Russell. A
risky pass. Nakaitaci stops him quickly and the French crowd
appreciate that. Watson. Such a low sense of gravity always gets
forward. Richie Gray. Laidlaw almost through. Scotland looking for the
quick ball. Johnny Gray now. Flung himself into that challenge. Strauss
and Richie Gray alongside each other. Scotland making inches and
then feet. Johnny Gray plays it back. Trying to secure the turnover,
it is just still there. And. John Barclay, a hard effort. Good defence
by France but Scotland making a little more ground. Strauss and
Richie Gray again, the big men for Scotland. Sapping both attack and
defence. Still Scottish ball. And again you can hear the hits as John
Barclay is wading in. Just a bit slow for Scotland and Strauss once
more from a stamped -- Stan still does well. Taken without the ball.
Fagerson hazard. A free attack powerful Scotland. Might be a little
poke over from Russell. Still skipping through. Still advantage.
15 faces. Not quite going to hand. He gets away and Stuart Hogg scores
in the corner! He has done it again! Four games in a row he has scored in
the Six Nations! You cannot stop this man. It was his tribe at 18 try
as well. He had the advantage which gave him the attack. Hugh Jones with
a full account. Lopez as well. He was never ever going to have any
other outcome than a Scottish try. That came after near on 15 phases of
really hard ball carrying from the Scottish team. Hard attack from the
French as well but credit to the players up front for continuously
kicking the ball with the contact wearing down the French defence.
Stuart Hogg has done it again. Three tries in two games. Great return for
Scotland in the opening quarter of the game. The energy levels have
really picked up in the commentary box! I'm going to have to bring it
back down and give more credit to the French. This is incredible.
Not the most difficult of -- the most difficult of conversions for
Greig Laidlaw. Not quite got the energy. Will it prove important at
the end? John Barclay is not a ball-carrier. His strength is more
in the breakdown. A linking player. But one of the rules is to carry
hard. That is a perfect example of doing exactly what you'll team needs
you to do to set up that platform. This one is taken by France. An
immediate chance to launch an attack of their own. Lopez gives it to
Gourdon, the open side flanker. Quickly through the hands. Spending
just gets it away. With the charge again, Spedding. An advantage to
France as well. A penalty is coming their way now. He gives it to
Atonio. Out wide now, Picamoles. Picamoles just barging his way into
the 22 and France making huge ground. Still pen is the advantage
for France. Death penalty advantage. Looking for it. All the way back now
for the penalty, obstruction by Scotland and France will have a
chance to take the lead again. Obstructing number nine. Do you have
a number. The interesting element for me is Scotland are defending
well in the centre of the field but pushing France White to play with
wit and that is when they are really attacking the ball at the breakdown
and getting the fruit Saborit and getting the odd turnover. We can see
how dangerous the French are. Scott Spedding drives through. Well
tackled by Finn Russell, I think. Already there was an infringement.
Hamish Watson put the block on the French scrum-half. More great stuff.
So two great games yesterday. The third game this weekend not letting
us down so far. Different games, yes. Different games. Both good in
their own right. Camille Lopez. Now his second attempt.
Through it goes. France lead once more. 20 minutes gone and a very
exciting opening quarter. And France with two penalties from Camille
Lopez hit the front. One thing for me is how hard they had to work for
their try and how quickly the French scored points after conceding points
to go back ahead. Starts again. Once more, good work by Vakatawa. Serin.
Wonderful carry on now. Again it came from very little. Gael Fickou.
Picamoles. Just behind him, it went backwards. Picamoles salvages the
situation. And France still in a promising position. The pass goes
loose but also backwards. Now taken in by Nakaitaci. Again and loose
with the tackles coming in for Scotland. The ball is out and
Scotland tried to take it on. A little knock forward so it is a
French ball at the scrum. Dunbar taking a never -- another thump
there. He is down and taking more treatment. Absolute chaos, wasn't
it? Vern Cotter has been trying to create chaos but that was chaotic.
No lack of physicality or bravery but pretty chaotic. The French loose
head getting treatment as well. Dunbar has now been down twice.
Looks rather more serious than a Dunbar. It's back on his feet. -- he
is back on his feet. You can see it is a clear message the French are
sending, we do not want to go into the tackle with the ball, we want to
try and off-load before the tackle. Create that uncertainty and the
old-fashioned French style, which is open play. Sean Maitland's need
going down on his back. Scotland have had slightly more possession
but France when they have had possession have looked quite
comfortable and just making the ground a little more easily than
Scotland. Scotland do not want to be sucked
into too many scrums. Dunbar is attacking in midfield.
France will look for a penalty from this scrum and it will be coming.
There is only one outcome here. Penalty advantage and a little
forward pass and a high tackle. Back for the penalty, a forward pass has
been spotted. Penalty from the scrum. It is not a gift, it has to
be earned but the scrum on your own ten metre line and the penalty and
suddenly France deep into the Scottish 22. This will excite the
French forwards. They are beating them on the impact. As soon as they
engage they are beating them and putting the Scottish on the back
foot. Knowing French rugby like I do they will keep hammering away at
this until the Scots can try and fix it. Camille Lopez kick is OK. French
liner midway between the 22 and ten metre line. -- line-out. Greig
Laidlaw is in real bother as well. He is limping around. Scotland
effectively 14 men at the moment. The captain is hobbling. Taken down.
Laidlaw. Also some difficulty for France. Walking it along towards the
22. And France now on the rampage. Penalty goes to Scotland and nobody
will receive that more gratefully than Greig Laidlaw. The crowd like
it's not. Laidlaw is looking in serious bother. -- like it is not.
Clear line taken at the front and the organiser, a really dynamic
ball. Picamoles blasting through the middle. Usually see the attacking
tailoring of the side and they came straight through the middle. I think
they will be buying Fraser Brown a beer after that because he really
saved them then. So often at the heart of it, Picamoles. Stronger
with the ball. He used to play on the back row. Laidlaw is struggling,
Andrew. Price is going to come on now. A significant blow in terms of
kicking. I think his match is over. Finn Russell will take the kicks. He
is more a running scrum-half. Price is very quick. Has played
particularly well for Glasgow. Almost number one choice after his
displays in Europe. He is very quick, very quick passing, he will
look to take a quick tap and bring a tempo to the game. One from the
bench late against Georgia. Hands above his head, Laidlaw. Celebration
last week and now sheer frustration. Price is on at scrum-half for
Scotland. Use it once! Flying in, Fraser Brown. He saw Atonio in front
of him. All around him, really. He did well. Richie Gray sends it back.
Price's first touch. Russell scooping it up. A bit of a slice.
Usually advantage to the man running onto it. So it is taken down well.
France again now. A bit of space out wide through the middle first of all
goes Guirado. On again they come through Goujon. And then Gourdon
almost back on his feet and driving along. Now to Gael Fickou. Fickou on
to Vakatawa. Lovely ball inside the back. Looking for the return. And
France again making huge ground. Flat pass carried in by Yoann
Maestri. And a dummy runner making a bit of a mess of it and gets
Scotland a chance to play but it might be turned over. Price has gone
in. Well... It that penalty is turned over that will be hugely
frustrating for Scotland. -- if that penalty.
Leave it. That is it. That is the way to deal with it. I will wait for
him to finish first. He will calm things down. Let's hear
the chat. First of all, his assistant. Now standing captain
shoved a player away. I think the reason he shoved him is because he
is trying to take the ball away. He cannot just run up and shot him. It
was Luke appears saying the reason he shoved him was this but it does
not matter. Here is the problem, previous penalty, you did the same.
I want you not to do it. All right? Do not take the law into your own
hands. I will deal with it. I am going to reverse this penalty for
discipline. It is price just on the field in his frustration and the
penalty is reversed and Camille Lopez will have a shot at goal
again. French just realising the penalty has been reversed. France
will play sharply. I have noticed Louis Picamoles, such an influential
player last week, has been on the outside channel carrying the ball
outside. Goujon came too quickly and that was a penalty for obstruction.
Lopez had the ball, dropped it and Alex Price gives him a push. --
Alistair price. And now they are going to face another three points
possibly from Camille Lopez. There is enough excitement in the game, we
do not need that, labs -- lads. You have got to keep it clean. Lopez
hooked it. First to react is Russell. Scotland ultimately are
spared on that occasion. The relieved man is Alistair Price this
time. A great talent, one from the bench against Georgia in November.
Here in the cauldron at the Stade de France replacing Greig Laidlaw.
Guirado again goes on. Spilled. Lost forward. Strauss has it. Under
pressure from Gourdon. And Russell... Advantage is over now.
And Spedding gathers. That is a curious kick, just taken by Richie
Gray. Russell gets it out wide. And Hogg now. France very aware of his
danger. Price to Russell again and onto Brown. Most pass on the inside.
And now he gets it onto Vakatawa. Onto 11 macro. On the Lopez. And it
is on for Gael Fickou. Two, three, four blue shirts taking him down.
Serin again complains. Scrum-half wave. Vahaamahina. Out it comes to
Lopez. France look to make good ground again. Goujon. The yardage
coming a bit more easily for France. Picamoles, shrugged it off. It is
still with France. Through goes Nakaitaci. Atonio... Through to
Lopez again. Here comes Lamerat. Gael Fickou. Gael Fickou is still
going. Now with Sebastien Vahaamahina. Ten metres out. Inside
ball. Still from the giant. Picked up by Vakatawa and out to Lopez. And
Spedding into the blue shirts. Half an hour gone. And all France at the
moment. The forwards, Maestri, leads them on. Advantage to Scotland, to
France. Guirado. Still advantage. Still the penalty advantage to
France. Within six metres of the line. Serin looking once more to the
forwards. Carried over by Goujon. And once more Sebastien Vahaamahina
taken down by Berkeley, still penalty advantage, inside, it comes
to Vakatawa. He tried to get the final off-load. Now out wide they
try. Camille Lopez. Serin. Wide. Spedding. And the try eventually
comes. It had to come for France. The Stade de France roars its
approval. The French public are looking for an impact, what a score.
So great in defence from Scotland but sometimes no matter how tough
and Brady Watt in defence the attack outflank Siew. Brilliant play by the
French. -- can outflank you. So much about what we love about French
rugby. Fast, off-loading, determined and always willing to give that
extra pass and Gael Fickou diving over in the corner. We are talking
about great young talent. He has been around for a long time. He made
his debut as an 18-year-old, Gael Fickou, now 22. And his fifth try.
Scored against Scotland last year. Does it again. A chance to make it
13-5. The way France come forward it is just that little bit harder for
Scotland, seems harder work. France are getting the ball so quick at the
breakdown of the Scottish defence cannot set. The line speed is slow
and they cannot attack and cuts down the options for France. Lopez on the
touchline. A left footed kicker. Just inside the post this time. 15-5
France lead. Gael Fickou's try. There are so many uploads in there
as well. We spoke about the size and the weight of the French pack but
each and every one of them, look at the hands-free contact, trying to
play at a tempo and that was a fantastic drive. Again looking for
Vakatawa. A wonderful take coming forward. And Ali Price digging away.
Scotland have a platform. On the edge of the 22. Finn Russell. Lovely
off-load to Strauss. Batting aside 11 macro. Scotland within seven,
eight metres. Penalty advantage now to Scotland. -- batting aside Serin.
He runs into the wall and Hamish Watson now, rolling forward. Great
power. And still advantage for Scotland. Carried in now by Johnny
Gray. Still advantage. With the men in blue. Fraser Brown, Richie Gray
trying to drag them along. Still the referee has his arm outstretched for
advantage. Johnny Gray planted for it and drives. France said their
defence. Almost through the middle. Plays it back. Ali Price giving it
on again. It is Brown who carries. Price looking for it. Russell.
Russell almost threw himself. Looking for quick ball now. Price,
white it goes, it goes, intercepted, they will come for the penalty. The
chances that have to be taken. They will have that penalty. It was
Baptiste Serin giving away the penalty. Two or three times E has
played long advantage which has helped this game. Because there is
so many opportunities and attacking play, it took a long advantage for
France and a long advantage is there for Scotland. It is great to see
because we are seeing some fantastic rugby. They are going for the posts.
It comes with the frustration that they were so close to the try. But
still very early in this game. The uploads stakeout, don't they? 12-2.
I think that is a conscious decision. -- stick out. I think they
are really trying to wear down the French which is a very brave thing
to do. In both the Scottish set up now for many years and in France as
well, a great second row player, Heinz. Russell now taking the kicks.
Which he does regularly for Glasgow. They have got some pretty
interesting salons here in Paris. -- selling armour here in Paris. --
selling along here in Paris. He has struck it well. Five minutes to go
in this first half. Greig Laidlaw can only watch. Again the tell-tale
signs. Again, they are very concerned, concerning signs for
Scotland going forward. Russell gets Scotland within a five. It all came
from the restart. He has been taken off the field for a head injury
assessment. Who is captain now, they are asking. That half hour has taken
its toll. John Hardie will be on for that head injury assessment to John
Barclay. Both teams are choosing to attack the ball, to try and get it
back. You often see teams saying, I will go for field position and kick
it deeper. But both teams are really trying to attack. I think the
mindset is clear that they are both wanting to play rugby, which is
obvious, they want to play rugby, but attacking. I imagine it is
Johnny Gray... In the leadership group, he has captained Glasgow.
Here is Johnny Gray. He takes it down. Trying to get the maul moving
forward. The ball at the back. John Hardie, number 20, on four John
Barclay while he is having that head injury assessment. Mackay touchy
waiting for that one. -- Nakaitaci. The assistant says it is fine. The
crowd obviously disapproved. I think I would want to check that challenge
here. Scotland get it and Scotland get the penalty as well. Since that
spell of French dominance the last couple of passages of play have gone
Scotland's's wave. They have had a look. -- Scotland's way. This is the
penalty. So much pressure. We mentioned the outside channel. Going
back to the fair contest. Well... Finn is not going for the ball, is
he? I think he is off the pace by a yard and still competing. What saved
him here is he is looking at the ball and he is in the air. It is one
of those decisions which can really go either way. Scotland are being
given a real opportunity here a couple of minutes from half-time to
draw within two points. It is straight enough. And bang on
the camera. Scotland, it seems certainly against the tide of the
match, they are within two points. They have lost their captain, lost
their stand in captain at the moment, John Barclay. It is hard
work, it is taking it out of them but they are in touch heading
towards half-time. The restart again is so important. Lopez and Strauss
watching this one for Scotland. And Nakaitaci, got to him. And Ali
Price, his second for Scotland. Russell. The laser that pass. Onto
Hamish Watson again. -- he delays that pass. Scotland still deep in
their own land. Up it goes from price. And through they go now to
Goujon. Towards the Scottish 22. And just before half-time France looking
to find that try one more time. Vakatawa carried it in. On it goes
through Baille and Goujon. Scotland looking to weather the storm one
more time and get into the dressing room. A crashed ball from Gourdon.
They come forward, they have taken some points, France. The ball is out
but it is still there for France as we go towards 40 minutes, carried by
Gourdon, John Hardie got them around. Still with France again.
Still that sharp all and forward at the heart is over. Scotland will be
mightily relieved to get out of this half two points adrift because they
were up against it at times. It has been a physical opening 40 minutes.
France really carrying the line and hitting Scotland hard. Scotland have
taken the physicality to France to try and really wear them down.
Should maybe help in the second half. An interesting first half with
two fantastic tries. France have the lead, 13 points to 11. STUDIO: That
Stuart Hogg try briefly but Scotland ahead on the scoreboard. The bit
Scottish player to score in four or more Six Nations games. Gael Fickou
likes scoring against Scotland. That helped to take it out for France,
putting them ahead 13-11 at half-time. One of the interesting to
statistics, metres made. You got to think at some point that will
exhaust the French players. That is the Scottish home. Possession even.
Tackles made a bit more to France. And carries also fairly even. I
guess it isn't even, tight, exciting Test match you would expect from a
site that has just defeated Ireland and one just lost against England.
It has been tight, physical, intense. We have seen injuries and
tries. A good 40 minutes. Their white will Vern Cotter be pleased
with how they weathered the storm at the end? I think this is the vital
period. With the injury to Greig Laidlaw there was an adaptation
period when Alex Rice came on. A couple of penalties at the end. That
is a solid first half from Scotland. -- when Ellie Price came on. They
missed an opportunity when the penalty was reversed. Thomas, we
can't hear you at the rumoured, and we want to hear it back on what
you've got to say, so let's get you a mic that works. We showed patience
and determination. We have been tremendous, you know, in this first
half. The power of our scrum is very interesting. It brings us a very
good platform in that game. That smack look back at some of the key
moments. Stuart Hogg, a record equalling four consecutive Six
Nations tries. We know when he he doesn't always do the obvious thing.
Hard work from Finn Russell in this. It was team try, wasn't it? It
really was, so many phases. His dancing feet, he takes it back on.
Off-loading, trying to off-load all the time. We saw last week,
sometimes a bouncing ball can favour the attacking side because the
defence are drawn in. But Stuart Hogg just finish us off brilliantly.
We can see from behind, the running off the ball that Stuart Hogg does.
They are lined up, that is fine. Look at Cyril Baille, doesn't work
off the ball as well as Stuart Hogg does. Looking in, I is on the ball,
Stuart Hogg has been run. It could have been Hamish Watson. The key
thing was that Scotland had an advantage, a penalty advantage. You
could see when that was given, there was a raising of the tempo from
Scotland. Greig Laidlaw could afford to throw a riskier pass. As we know,
we built careers on throwing bad passes to create tries. It can be a
key to score. I think Vakatawa, you know, he should have stayed on the
wing. He got involved too quickly. He didn't really help his team in
that action. It was very similar to the setup for the Argentina try
which we saw the start of the programme. Off-loaded it, Scotland
were under the cosh at that point, it got them back in the game, got
there offensive game going. In many ways, it was the boot of Lopez that
was going to keep the scoreboard ticking over for France. But the try
of Fickou was very similar, it even try with 18 phases in the end. It is
the kind of try that we wouldn't have scored a few years ago. France
has changed, we are more patient, you can see that. Fickou was asking
for the ball for a very long time. You can see, this French team worked
really hard, the forwards worked really hard, and we managed to speed
the ball up on the breakdown. All the time we made some off-load and
kept the ball for a very long time, which was quite unusual in the last
few years. They played with such ambition before that, coming out of
their own half, there off-loads, trying to get that ball in. It
reminded me of Toulouse in the mid-2000s, when Guy Noves coached
them. The French team attacks from the home 22. It was an extraordinary
opening three minutes or so. There were two potential interceptions.
Maitland nearly made them pay within the first couple of minutes of the
match. A breathless start. The passage of play was just incredible.
You know, it try from France, they looked very dangerous there.
Scotland's defence was good, the ball comes off Mike Brown. Allan
Dell gives it to Sean Maitland. -- off the ground. Look at them come
virgin. We thought that was stopped, especially when the ball in is
knocked on here. France decided to attack in their own half. Big long
pass from Spedding. You can see, Huw Jones read the game very well. Look
at that he almost got it. He should have had back there. Maitland, look
at this. Nakaitaci. He had his boot taken off, watch it very closely.
Alex Dunbar has got the red but in his hand. Are you going to put it
down? No, I'm going to lob it 40 yards down the pitch! Is that
sportsmanship there? I saw the brute emerge I think three times, and then
things settle down a bit on the tries came. Picamoles was a man we
need to pick out. We talked about him ahead of the match. His workrate
was impressive today. The defensive side of his game that you were
saying you were hoping you were going to see more of. Exactly, we
know how good he is ball in hand. We saw that even in defence today he
was quite effective. He made the yards, his tackle was very low, very
powerful. And his threat, you know he has the ball on his legs, he uses
them very welcome even in defence. He tackles very low. He puts so much
pressure on the Scottish players. And they thwart a lot of the
Scottish momentum and attack because of that. When the try came from
Stuart Hogg, Scotland were able to get an extra foot, next regard, you
know, making the next phase a lot easier. It is interesting as the
name goes on -- the game goes on, how that affects momentum. He has
carried four times, 44 metres, he is doing like a quarter of the meters
made. He made three of the off-loads, nearly as much as the
Scottish team. A Scottish team which is very dangerous, he might put some
pressure on them. One of the things that has impressed about Scotland
was the decision making, particularly towards the end. Greig
Laidlaw happy composed head on him. To lose him early in this game is
undoubtedly a bloke. He has been the go to player for bunker. For so
long. His point-scoring and goal-kicking has been exemplary --
for Vern Cotter for so long. He played the first 160 minutes in the
autumn. He got a knock, you can see his ankle, it looked like it got
caught on there and he wasn't right. We were watching it closely, he
certainly wasn't happy. He jumps in, it looks like he has maybe got over
his ankle. This is a massive baptism by Alex Rice -- Alistair Price. He
has been on fire for Glasgow. He made his debut against Georgia, now
here he is in the heart of the Six Nations. He has adapted well. He had
a wee moment with the push on mopeds, but since then he has passed
well, he has organised -- the push on Lopez. He has organised box kicks
and have them on the money. His discipline has to be right as well.
He wanted to get the ball back of Lopez. He pushes him. You know, keep
your head a wee bit. You're not going to get away with that in
international rugby. But he reacted well. Another thing. Finn Russell is
two from two, that transition it saddled everybody down. When you see
Ellie Price next week, what are your words of wisdom to him in a moment
like that -- Alistair Price. There was a time when that Bush would not
have got you a penalty in international rugby but it is more
under the microscope these days. I would say, Alistair, don't do that
again, that was rather silly, he'll learn fast, though. He is an
experienced player, but he learned fast in Glasgow and he will learn
fast today. Plenty more sport to come for you on the BBC this
weekend. Ski Sunday is on BBC Two from 5pm. The Baftas mean that much
of the day two switches to BBC Two this week. -- match of the day two.
That is followed by more Six Nations action.
And Lee McKenzie hosts that, she is also inside with Ali Williams. I am,
bruising physical first half, just how you like your rugby, Ali. What
have you made of it? I think it is a fantastic game. Both sides are
really wanting to play attacks, but the defence, the importance of it
and the physicality, as we spoke about, is huge. I think the British
and Irish Lions are bringing the best out of this competition. I
mean, the Scots are really playing with huge energy and desire, and
individuals are standing up and saying, what about me? Count me in.
For a spectator, I think it's a fantastic atmosphere. Warren Gatland
is somewhere in amongst the crowd. What will he have seen that he
likes? He will like the energy, the spark and excitement that
individuals are showing. It will show the cohesiveness and the times
that they are choosing to attack. Now that Alistair Price is on, I
think you are getting a bit faster ball. But Laidlaw is a lot more
conservative in his approach to attack, it is different. I think the
second half might open up even more. We could get an even more exciting
day. We knew that France were going to be a big pack. We have seen the
scrums and line-outs, the way that the game is being played. There is
going to be a big storm coming in the second half. Who is going to
whether it best? There is definitely some energy. We saw that with the
handbags and fisticuffs before. Which every rugby follower like! But
I think what's happening is a set piece, you have got quite even in
the line-outs, the scrum, the French have definitely got the dominance
there. It's going to come down to a small little factor, whether it is
an interception or a decision by Jaco Peyper, who knows? This game is
going to open up even more, and I think we in store for a pretty good
second-half. You can see how hard both sides had to work for the
price. A number of times the ball was recycled, but quickly a penalty
makes all the difference. It is called scoreboard pressure. One team
is getting the lay of the land and they get points, and the other team
is on the defence, but then it changes, men so bike momentum
changes. In a game from becoming your time comes. Defence is huge.
Most tries are conceded after 10-15 phases of rugby. So, hold the ball
on the fruit will come for you. You have dusted off your rugby boots
again and you are back playing in France. Does this were the appetite
for an international comeback? Or those days over? Those days are well
and truly over. The club days are over? I'm still hanging in there, I
still have a few more seconds left on the clock. I enjoy living here in
France, the energy and excitement they have rugby is second to none.
Very exciting, but looking forward to the second-half. Upper back to
the commentary box. Enjoy your second-half.
Good strike, three points for France. Stuart Hogg scores! He has
done it again! It's ever so tight, two points in
it. If there is anything that Scotland will want to take from the
statistics, in eight out of ten matches from Guy Noves, France have
failed to outscore their opponents in the second half. They will be
looking to put more daylight between themselves in Scotland. Will you
think especially with the weight of the pack, the heavy pack means
potentially not as mobile, not as cardiovascular a injury and, being
kind? We expect the bench to bring a lot in our team. We know it is going
to be difficult. It gets complicated to play against Scotland, because
they can score in any breakdown, they can rob you the ball and score,
like Maitland did, and go over the line. You need to score very quickly
and put some points to be ahead and be confident. You don't want to kind
of go along with the cliches of French fitness within the domestic
rugby setup, but, you know, we hear the tales of the fact that there is
a big gap between the two. You have experience of course, how was the
fitness that? It wasn't something that they focused on. They focused
on what happened on the pitch, which gives you greater gain sense, but,
you know, in an intense game like this, you know, I expect France to
tire. That can only really come into effect if Scotland can control the
ball. This is a really tight game. Scotland will take confidence and
belief from winning a tight game last week against Ireland. I think
this will come down to decisions about fitness. If Scotland can
control the game and get a bit more fluid, Scotland won this game to be
as open as possible in the second half. If they can do that, they can
hire them down and still win it. I think Scotland will be happy in the
way that first half has gone to a newbie two points down. That gives
you a boost in the changing room that they can come out in the
second-half. The opportunity for thin -- Finn Russell to have two
attempts at goal and score, that gives you confidence. The transition
has been made, Price is on, that's it for the second-half. Greig
Laidlaw is fantastic, I think he is 85%. Finn Russell is high 70s, early
80s kick-out. Not bad for a back-up. He does it week in, week out the
Glasgow. You can see him lining up with a smile on his face ready to
take the kick. He will enjoy this challenge. What are your hopes for
France in the second half? I hope we can score quickly. We know that
Scotland can move the ball really well. But they will take some risks.
We can maybe score on the mistakes that they could make. But I really
hope that we won't change our half-backs to early like we did
against England, because I think these half-backs, you know, are well
into the game again to date. The crowd behind France. You don't
always get that after 40 minutes here. We have heard booing ring out
before now. They hope the French team can score themselves the first
win of the Six Nations. But Scotland have other plans. Let's drawing our
commentary team, Ali Williams, Chris Paterson and Andrew Cotter.
COMMENTATOR: Scotland start the second half as they finish. There is
Greig Laidlaw. Up against Wales in a fortnight. Scotland within two
points. One of the points we are talking about in the studio is
fitness, which is to favour fitter sides come the final 20 minutes, the
fit of 15s, but that's not the case any more. Have you got players to
come on and play 20, 30 minutes from the bench. Fitness is not as much of
an advantage as it used to be. But France, from Goujon, a bump from
Hardie, and I think Hardie might have done himself in mischief there.
And Chardy... Well, no, Hardie and Goujon, I think both players are in
trouble. There was a big collision. Goujon was running hard, Hardie hit
behind. It is good that the players pointed it out to the referee and
the referee stepped in. You could hear that. I think it was on the
head. Oh... A sickening thump as they came
together. Yeah, they will both have to leave the field, I think.
Certainly for an assessment. You can see by the body shape. He has to go
and get checked. Both will have their head injury assessment, that
is a maximum of ten minutes to be assessed by an independent doctor.
John Hardie throws himself in, as quite a lot of back rows do, but the
pictures tell the story there. Not really an assessment here. The right
thing needs to be done. It's probably his day. He played a match
last week for Leinster against Munster, just on the back of an
ankle injury sustained in the autumn. James Robinson goes off and
Tim Swinson comes on, and John Hardie, Loann Goujon is in a
slightly better way. But Tim Swinson is on. By nature a second row but
can play back row as well. It will be interesting to see of Swinson
goes to the second row and maybe Jonny Gray drops back. It looks like
Swinson is going to go to the blindside. They both can play back
row. As you can see, the duty of care and the accuracy of how head
injuries are treated, it is of vital importance. The most important thing
is that he is OK. That is a big loss on top of John Barclay. Scotland
have lost two very heavy back rowers. There he is, Swinson,
packing down number 19 on the flank. Early in the match today, using up
the reserves on the bench. Got to keep it up, got to keep it
up. If there is confession, it's three weeks to go. There is a whole
set of protocols you need to go through -- if it is concussion. They
have to do the protocol. You get a maximum of three weeks, if you are
under 18 it is mandatory three weeks. But the best junior cow will
always be taken with these guys. First scrum of the second -- the
best duty of care. It goes to France.
Every side does it. There is still a little letter in the law that it is
supposed to go down to a straight -ish channel. But it just goes
straight into the second row now. That is one of the strangest you
will ever see. It's what you can get away with.
It's knowing the referee. If you can get away with that... Taking down by
France. An opportunity to come forward again. The French national
anthem is ringing out in the Stade de France. Penalty vote Scotland.
Quickly taken by Alistair Price. The replacement scrum-half takes
Scotland to the ten metre line. Comes off the legs. A little knock
forward for Scotland. The referee says it's OK. Dunbar carries it.
Russell under pressure. Flips it well to Tommy Seymour, red touch for
him. Chasing it down. Seymour on his own, looks full support. And its
Swinson! Tim Swinson, fresh on the field, and takes Scotland into an
unlikely lead! Again, the bounce of a rugby ball can do strange things
to a full-back. Spedding undone by it. The quick hands gives you more
the opportunity. It is this pass from Finn Russell, the footwork, he
slid the ball away to Seymour, whose was pretty high. Tim Swinson coming
on, usually a second row, but he has got the support right down to 80,
right up the middle of the field, staying in the game. First try for
Scotland, Tim Swinson. He has been the man for Scotland, for Glasgow.
Oh, my word! Looking at the replay of the try,
rather than looking at the replay of the conversion, look at the bounce
on this fob or old Scott Spedding. -- for poor old Scott Spedding. He
was rushed, he got told to speed up and the ball flops over right at the
last minute. It's crawling along the ground like a caterpillar, no good!
Slimani is an, Atonio is off. Gordon Reid is going to come on for
Scotland is well on the front row. It comes down to fine margins. That
kick will be watched time and time again. Time running out. 90 seconds
to take a conversion. From the try being scored you have 90 seconds to
take the conversion. He must have got a call from the referee to hurry
up, and an heeded. You have got a couple of seconds to compose
yourself before having a kick. Spilling forward, France have it
through their captain. Guirado looking...
Gourdon barges through. France within five metres. They come all,
Russell digs away at him. Slimani, try scorer at African last week. And
-- at Twickenham. The swell of sound inside the Stade de France. Baille,
the loosehead prop, sets it back. A little much forward from Nakaitaci.
Like a tower runs for the advantage. Penalty coming their way. --
Vakatawa. A penalty now. Stuart Hogg got away with murder
there. That was a hell of a tricky play. He made the tackle, got
back-up, and came back on the line of the tackle. So they took out the
supporting player. It was brilliant. It is all from the kick off again.
Both teams have tried to win it back. As you said, the first half,
as soon as the French get a sniff they come alive. The atmosphere
comes alive. Scotland will be quite content, content to concede only
three here after this light break from Gourdon. He did this last week.
Powerful, blasting through the space. What Stuart Hogg, this is
brilliant. He gets the tackle, gets back up on his feet. We missed it!
Anyway. Mike even stopping Vakatawa in that corner took a lot of effort
from the Scottish backs. So much rugby being played in this game, is
a joy to watch. Camille Lopez. After that bizarre conversion miss by Finn
Russell he has an opportunity to bring France level.
No such mishaps by Camille Lopez. 16 points of these. -- apiece.
Finn Russell looking to get going again. But the referee says to stay
steady for a moment. Given that a bit too much perhaps. Straightout.
Bacca Tower, a mistake at the restart. And all the way back. They
talk and talk about them, but the restarts in this game have been
telling. A frustrating mistake from Finn Russell. Not a lot in it, but
it carried too far. It's no surprise they have opted for the scrum, it
opens up both sides of the attack. Is solid base as well. Goujon is
waiting to come back on after his assessment. So he is deemed to be of
sound mind. A reminder that Scotland have lost
Greig Laidlaw to an ankle injury, John Barclay with a head injury
assessment. He didn't return after half-time. John Hardie was certainly
worse for wear, he came off. Scotland digging into the reserves
early on. So much to play for in this match towards 50 minutes.
And France but the drive on, penalty coming, held that the back. It's
within kicking distance. But with bad level of superiority at the
scrum, it's just such a platform to build upon. It is a warning sign,
especially when they are playing such attacking rugby, you get the
lock on. There it goes to the scrum. It gives France the ability to
settle, gain a penalty like this. And start again. Just a reminder
that Scotland have first choice props in Allan Dell and Dickinson,
Dickinson should be back sooner. It is hard work today. Even there, so
much dominance in the scrum. As a rugby enthusiasts, you see the ball
being played. They are so dominant, yet they haven't had a goal. They
always come back for the penalty. Lining up from 50.
A penalty reminder from Jaco Peyper. Distance is not necessary for Scott
Spedding, he can kick them out from 60 easily. Not necessarily in the
right direction, however. But a good nudge.
He was interrupted, from Jaco Peyper as well.
Scotland flinging it about ahead of this 22 restart. Half an hour to go.
All tied up. Have we got to the bottom of Finn Russell's hairdo? His
headband? He took a knock against Zander Fagerson, and since then he
has worn it. It looks like he has got his GPS on the front of it, to!
Sebastien Vahaamahina, a little bit of space for Spedding.
Fine for somebody to claim, says the referee. Baille through Nakaitaci.
The roar from the crowd as they get into the 22, Dunbar tries to get
over that ball. Oh, and they spill. It was Goujon crying for it.
Hogg can't work miracles there. Richie Gray. Trying to pile his way
through the diminutive Camille Lopez.
And spreading weights. To launch another attack. So strong at
Twickenham, Spedding. And Strauss is still going. Some tired looking
bodies for Scotland at the moment. As Maestri took it in.
A lovely off-load as well. Gourdon doing his bit again. This time he
hangs onto it. Swinson was there to take the pass. Swinson has played
his part since he came on. Twice. Price was on the way. Down the
blindside. Chipping and chasing. He has got Maitland onside. The ball
comes back. On through Strauss and Jones. A chip through. Is it too
long? Heading towards the corner. And all the way out it goes and back
they come. Just the wrong weight on it. And Spedding and many others
taking a rest. A great counterattack by Spedding. Hamish Watson is
putting a lot of pressure on in the contact. I think we all need a rest
after that. You heard on the referee microphone calling for the chip from
Stuart Hogg. Really good communication. I think Jones should
keep this in hand. I know it is after a long period of play. But you
have got France on the black -- a back foot and they are doing really
hard. Ross Ford is waiting to come on. France are about to make a
change with Huget just going through his stretching. He will come on for
Vakatawa. Interesting change. He is obviously a very powerful player,
Huget. Scott Spedding was stretching. Looked a little bit
vulnerable after the last contact. He gives way for Huget. He will make
an impact. Very dangerous with the ball. Very power. A scrum again.
Some trepidation by Scotland. There he goes. Crouch, bind, set. France
will look for the drive again. Just looking for the penalty here.
Scotland will be splintered a bit. This time it is Picamoles, with
those big arms, handing off. Ten yards made. Lopez gets in the way
well. WHISTLE Penalty for Scotland. Applause again for a defensive
effort. Just a little bit wasteful but good work again at the breakdown
by Scotland. Every time Picamoles is carrying he is making metres but
he's almost running away from the support. And Scotland are coming
back in the maul and ruck situation, giving them a few more
opportunities. I think they are going to have a go at goal with the
big boot of Stuart Hogg. He has got the distance on this one. Fully 54
metres or so, however. This should be an issue. After conceding yardage
from the line break from Picamoles and one two others they are coming
out really hard in defence and forcing the attacker towards the
contact, supporting where players have come from and trying to put the
pressure on and winning penalties at the breakdown. Alex Dunbar is
playing like a fourth flanker. He is putting so much heat on that maul --
ruck it is incredible. Hogg. The atmosphere is fairly still at the
Stade de France. Not much breeze. And in trying to get a bit of a next
to nudge he also does what Scott Spedding did. And a wild one. And
France are ready to bring on Maxime Machenaud. Baptiste Serin will head
off. He is much more combative, Maxime Machenaud. He will get in
among the breakdown. I like Baptiste Serin as a player. Very fluent, very
good player, but Maxime Machenaud is far more aggressive in the
breakdown. A long 22. Russell taking it above his head. Strauss. Strauss
into Picamoles. And Slimani. He does well. Russell again. A spillage and
a chance for France to come again. Maitland getting back their decides
he should do the job. Scotland under pressure now. A setback for Ali
Price. A penalty. Then gave away the penalty. And Ali Price, pretty quick
to take the running penalty sometimes. A calm ahead, a more
experienced head... Working hard to get back and then the ball pops in.
It is not in the ruck so he cannot use his hands. Into Fraser Brown and
the turnover. Maxime Machenaud tipped it up and his first impact
was to keep long. I think it was Alex Dunbar. I was talking about the
work, Alex Dunbar, he has been down a few times. He has often been that
extra plank. He is a physical player. Both in defence and
offensively. Then it will come on. He is just getting his tracksuit. --
Mark Bennett. The game opens up, it may suit him. I think Vern Cotter,
we will see it half-time, he was really speeding this game up,
challenging the French fitness wise and challenging their vision. Are
they seeing what we are seeing? They are waiting for Mark Bennett to come
on. Here he is, for Alex Dunbar. Three knocks for Scotland with
Berkeley, Hardy and now Alex Dunbar. As Chris was saying, Mark Bennett is
a very different player. A very talented attacking player, slighter
than Dunbar. Strauss. Does very well. And Russell holds it out. He
had to leap to take it and try and get something from not much. Johnny
Gray. And on through Richie Gray. Russell seeing what is available.
Just carries it in, setting it back again. Fraser Brown. Vahaamahina.
Strauss once more the ball carrier and that is a heavy hit by Slimani
and Goujon. Mark Bennett. And every time the crowd is groaning and
loving Beckett -- the hit. Battering away at the half lane -- halfway
line. A flat pass taken in by Mark Bennett. The blues is the cry.
Fagerson and Russell. Strauss. Did well taking that path. Spinning to
Lopez. It is stolen. And France have got a chance to counter. And an
ugly, ugly pass coming out for Picamoles. It was forward and
Picamoles with the mistake. We do not say that very often but the
Scottish scrum... Strauss is taking aim to himself as well. He is having
to do so much of carrying full Scotland. Every contact is maximum.
A hard tackle by Lopez. This is the one I think which resulted in the
turnover by France. Guirado patching the ball and bat is a poor pass. It
is a little full Scotland because he was outside for Gael Fickou and
Huget. The game is so physical. Simon Berghan is going to come on
for Scotland. Scottish back row reserves are expired. What is
important now, because it is so attritional and exhausting, you have
to play in the right areas of the field, so territory becomes more
important. Maybe at the start of the game when there was more
free-flowing rugby, you have got to apply pressure, territory and look
for the penalty, look for the drop goal to get your sob ahead. Which I
do not think unfortunately papers Scotland. A loose game is profiting
Scotland a lots more. The lock is coming on. And another change in the
front row for France as well, Xavier Chiocci. He is such a strong loser.
He is a big man. I have had the pleasure of being behind him on
quite a few occasions in some dark and ugly places. And Christopher
Tolofua is going to come on. He is a big man himself, making his debut. A
New Zealander with a family from sterling. And straight down with the
tight head. For the first time in international rugby. Crouch, bind,
said. And the decision is a free kick. Strauss. Strauss is just
giving his body to the cause, literally. A bit of damage there.
Goujon with the stop. Goujon again. I think it is Picamoles. Collision.
No, it wasn't. It is a yellow bird. It is Goujon. Goujon has taken a bit
of punishment today, as well. Another shoulder drive in there but
you have got to get your head out of there. It on the side. You should
drive back. But he goes to his dominant left. Always takes a risk
when you put your head in front of your knees all your hips. Moving
very slowly towards the final quarter of the match because we have
had so many breakdowns now for injuries, for impact. It is a brutal
game. And France are ready to make two more changes now. Damien Chouly
is going to come back on and Christopher Tolofua is going to come
on. Let's go. Avenue to play. Referee is saying you have to play.
-- you have to play. I have had enough! Let's call it a draw. 20
minutes away from the first to draw since 1987 in the World Cup between
these two side. 27 points apiece. A classic 3-3 draw was the last in the
capital macro-5 Nations in 1996. 20 minutes. 16 points apiece. I am not
sure this scrum is going to last too long. The referee says play on.
Strauss just try to get through full stop he has done so well. Past
Gourdon and Scotland still moving forward. Price. Offside. Penalty for
Scotland and an opportunity here again from just inside the French
half. Might well have another go at it. It is going to be a pop to the
corner this time. A better scrum, it has gone much lower. The height is
so much lower. Gave him enough control in the last two scrums,
coming from the back and doing really well to make yardage. Every
time he gets up it looks like it is his last play but it is almost like
there is something in him and he is giving it everything and it is
amazing. In the back row already, he played back row before he swapped
the hooker, so I assume he would be the natural replacement if Josh had
to go. The positive for Scotland, Dunbar is coming back on so he has
passed the head injury assessment. Mark Bennett is off. Maybe appearing
again later. Josh Strauss has gone beyond the call of duty today for
Scotland. The Linux taken down by Swenson. Try scorer in the Stade de
France. -- line-out. -- Swenson. A pass to the finish. And France will
get there. Leave it. Once again tempers are expiring. This time it
is Johnny Gray and Damien Chouly. Johnny Gray back for a bit more,
alongside his brother. It would be an interesting dinner table
conversation. Where were you, mate? I was on my own! It is French ball
at the scrum. I would expect to see Picamoles launching from the back
again at this scrum. Lining up inside. Lopez as well. The crowd
that area. Penalty to France. Immediately taken by the front row.
For Scotland. And it will be a much easier territory for France now.
Will try and poke it all the way down the field. Those scrums are
getting messy. Just trying to say, look, let's not get away with
anything, just resetting the game and a slowing it up. I would say it
sort of terms the Scottish to favourites at the moment with the
scrums. They were much lower, not looking for a big shop but actually
stability and it was better. Line-out taken safely. He was
therefore France. Held at the back by the captain, Guirado. The
Scottish defences are splintering. And through the debris comes France
once more into the 22, rolling along. What grounds they have made.
Advantage to France as well. The penalty is there for them. Points
are on offer. Picamoles. And France still come. They know that penalty
is there. Machenaud feeds in. Wide it goes now. They come for the
penalty. 17 and three? And an opportunity for France again to take
the lead. One after the other from that driving maul. It has moved a
fair rate for the French. I assume they will try and kick for the gold.
But after that last line-out, will they go to touch? You would admit
quite happily that he would accept the three points, because of the way
the matches going and the momentum France have, and that is what France
is doing for the corner, they are going for the jugular, with 15
minutes to go and the Stade de France is applauding it. It is
mixed. I think that is a crazy move, to be honest. I think points are
valuable at a time like this. The crowd are getting. And a wave again.
They would love to see France over that Scottish try line. Along it
goes. They try to take it down. They pile up. They missed the ball. Four
or five average players. Picamoles. In the heart of it. Right at the
centre of the old now. The ball is therefore France. Within five
metres. Can the Scottish defence stand firm? Picamoles. Takes it back
now. Maxime Machenaud giving it on. Carried forward by the replacement
prop forward. Advantage for France as well. Another penalty is coming
and Lopez, so close. Through to the base of the post. Cannot quite get
there. France forward and then back into the heart of things, carried in
by Johann Boucher. Penalty advantage. Well, they want the try.
It may still come. But they will have to try again. Maybe the scrum
this time. Another Scottish man is down injured. Just so much
courageous defence from Scotland. The French just keep coming at you,
wave after wave, power, every ball-carrier. Brown is down injured,
as well. He has been so brave in the tackle and in contacts today. You
saw how hard France had to work for that try with Gael Fickou, I think
it was 20 phases. So much courage in defence and attack. Picamoles, like
you did last week, carrying hard. Inches in the ground. Keep trying to
make another inch. Inside defence covers, I think that is Fraser Brown
in the collision, taking a knock. Another interesting decision for the
French. A penalty underneath the posts. A dominant scrum. Almost
guaranteed three points. Fraser Brown looks to be leaving the field
as well. Watson comes on. Ford earning his 104th appearance. And
France are waving inside the Stade de France. But this will be a scrum
right under the posts. Scotland would have been quite happy
to concede just three points there. But an opportunity. France will be
targeting the shop impossible penalty, penalty try. Picamoles. --
a key note in this match. In it goes. From Machenaud. Not yielding.
Using it, says the referee. He spills it! He has spilled it and
they have tried to clear! We will check. Machenaud flung himself upon
it. Plenty to look at. John Lacey coming in. There was a spilled from
Lamerat and then a kick charged down. The spillage. He is reaching
for the line-out. No, that is a try because of the line. Control? The
TMO, it is his decision. You can see him watching it. I would give that.
I think it is a try, as well. There has to be minimal contact between
the ball, hand and the ground. He has got contact. His pinky finger
has gone through. And the decision is... Got a decision for you. He has
lost control, the ball has gone forward... I think that is harsh.
Scrum to the defence. That is a huge decision. That has amazed me, to be
honest. The word was control, wasn't it? Lost control in possession. It
looks to me like he just managed to get that down. It does not get
Scotland out of the woods. They have to take the scrum. I imagine huge
pressure coming from the French. Loads of people watching that will
not be able to believe it. Scotland still under huge pressure on their
own scrum. Holding that ball. Ali Price. The
referee says, get it in now. And the crowd are baying for Scottish blood.
Ali Price showing a lot of maturity there. That was a good skill to hold
off. He could see his team had not got that dominance, that stable
platform. I assume if you are Scotland you just once this ball in
hand to clear your lines. Finn Russell is quite fast. I wonder if
Strauss is going to try and get a view more metres out and get a
better base to clear from. -- a few more. Stable at. France pile
through. Penalty. They are moving it around, France. How they have
emerged from that with a penalty to clear without conceding any points,
astonishing. Not driving straight. Across. The angle, he went out and
he came back in. It is one of those things where you really want to try
and do a dominant piece of play down there and you give yourself a
penalty... That is a good kick as well from Finn Russell. Almost to
halfway. He has come round on his left. He is not pushing straight.
That is a penalty all day. A very powerful scrummage player but legal
on that occasion. Heading to the final ten minutes. The Scottish line
at just inside their own half. Scotland looking for a first win in
France since 1999. That is certainly not straight, is it? The referee has
a look and he says it is fine. Hamish Watson. What an effort he has
put him. Gordon Reid plays scrum-half. Johnny Gray setting it
back. A long final ten minutes coming up. Russell off-loading.
Dunbar is there. Trying to help out but again avoiding the red and blue.
They come in. Hugh Jones taken down by Slimani. A penalty now to France.
Holding onto the ball. And it is certainly gettable. Maxime
Machenaud, isn't it? He does that so often for his club. He is so
combative at the breakdown. Penalty for his side. I do not think there
is any doubt about the decision here. They are going to try and take
the three points. Jones picks and goes for the tackle. Strong as an
ox. Wide base, over the ball. Two or three Scottish clear and cannot get
him. And around the neck, you cannot clear out as easily as you used to.
Just limping over it. Setting it up here for Lopez. He could not score
moments ago from the attack but France have an opportunity now. You
cannot help but think about the conversion. Well, exactly. Finn
Russell. That may be looked at later on. But Lopez now... It is good from
Lopez. Silence turning to roars of approval from the Stade de France.
France in front. Just over eight minutes remaining. They craved this
victory. They need it. They came close against England, Australia,
England away. They simply had to beat Scotland at home, according to
French supporters. And finally... Christopher Tolofua on for the
restart. And now Lopez. Hogg is there. He had to take an awkward one
bouncing in front of him. Gourdon gets him down. Forward. Off-loading.
Still flinging it around and Russell is almost through and still going.
He is looking for the upload but it is risky and it is France with the
ball. Staying on. It is a French ball. You can see how dangerous
Scotland still are if they get their hands on the ball. It gets them out
of that. The pressure they have been under. It gives them the opportunity
to launch an from Russell. He tries to get his hands free to get the
ball away. He should hold onto that. Hold it and try and apply pressure
to the French. You must say, another cracking game in the six Nations. A
lot of drama left in it yet in the final six or seven minutes. -- Six
Nations. The Scottish players that have not been replaced, the grey
brothers, Strauss, I mentioned, Hamish Watson on the plank. So many
injuries with Laidlaw, Dunbar and Hardy. -- on the bench. WHISTLE This
will be stuck to the corner. Again, there is only so far you can go with
a competitive scrum. It is unusual because the Scottish Crown -- scrum
is a sort of shared and the French are going directly through them. Was
there much difference between that one and the one where the Scottish
won the penalty on their own line? Yes, but the French stayed straight
on this one. They try to do what the French did last time and this is
what is creating indecision, as well. A replacement at fly half.
Duncan Weir is on for Finn Russell. Finn Russell might have expected to
play the final five minutes but Duncan Weir comes on. Looking to dig
them out of this position, three points adrift and France with the
ball and playing to the line. Here comes the driving maul for France.
And down to ground it goes. And advantage to France. Penalty. Hope
is running out now for Scotland. Louis Picamoles, starts at number
ten to have another kick at goal. Just a reminder as well, the bonus
points in Six Nations this year, is losing bonus point is a defeat by
seven points or fewer. Scotland are within that at the moment, and still
would be if France were to knock this Cachova. Strange to be talking
about losing bonus point as something. You think about how close
it is at the end of the championship, the difference between
the teams in the table, you want to come away with something. You can
see, that last image shows how difficult it is to be a referee.
There's so much going on, players are part and players low. You need
to know where the ball is in and around them, so difficult. Another
opportunity for Camille Lopez. Yes, he is clinching his fist and
celebrating. France now have a 6-point lead. Scotland looking for
miracles in the final four minutes. Barely threatened the French try
line for so long, but they need a converted try. Some moments from the
second half, the impetus put in by both sides. Earlier in the match as
well, so Greig Laidlaw. He has long since departed. The restart crucial
again. Taken well by Julien Le Devedec.
Scotland needed to claim that. Brought to a brief standstill by
Ford, and on once more. And from deep, Lopez swivels. Takes it to
Duncan Weir. Infield to Maitland. The Ulster. -- little step. Alistair
Price doing well. The young scrum-half sets it back. Jones comes
into play at scrum-half. Scotland in desperation on the attack. Jonny
Gray, back from cordon. -- Gourdon. Scotland making ground. They need
more than a penalty, more than a drop goal. Hamish Watson. Scotland
looking for something magical here now. Still going. Le Devedec gets to
him. Just over two minutes remaining. For all this effort. And
the Gray runners linkup. Duncan Weir. And Gordon Reid. Round it
goes. Nakaitaci has it for France. Chasing
it down himself. Bit of open space for Stuart Hogg.
Slips, remains on his feet and still going on. And again breaking up. A
final chance for Scotland. Machenaud slows things down. Takes his time.
On comes Christopher Tolofua. Towards the final minute. Scotland
still within seven points. But they still dream of a win in Paris for
the first time since 1999. They need that ball. And the scrum strikes up
again in the Stade de France. France, so close to the win to
revive their title challenge. Ball is available, available to be
cleared. France taking things down now, Tolofua.
No mistakes from France. Little pockets of three weight and carry.
Gray tries to script Gourdon. Still with France, seconds remaining. And
again, the forwards weight. And carry, and soak up the clock. And
the countdown is on until the clock goes red. Back it goes. And goes the
ball. And victory for France! Celebration in the Stade de France.
Well, it shows that it means so much to France to have that win. But it
is a French win. And they simply had to get that to relieve the pressure
to satisfy their followers. And for Scotland, it's not quite nothing,
there is a losing bonus point, but they wanted, expected and hoped for
so much more. They gave so much effort. A huge amount of effort,
courageous and brave. They really managed that final minute and a
half, they wanted to retreat into their own 22 so they could kick them
out. It is a win from France as a hugely bruising encounter in Paris.
A fantastic match, both teams played with an attacking mindset, they
don't want to win. I think the Scots can be extremely happy with that.
Playing at home for France is huge. Emotionally it is huge. To be
honest, not a bad result. In. You want to win, but not a bad result.
France really stepped up, they're off-load start and they really
attacked. It has taken its toll on these men. Some are having treatment
elsewhere. Laidlaw is off, Barclay and Hardie. Two tries for Scotland,
but victory from France. 22-16. STUDIO: At times it was a compelling
Test match. And really there were moments when France should have been
two scores up, and Scotland's defence, magnificent to keep the
score down to give themselves in the game. But France really, you can
give their massive credit over the past 12 months, where they have come
from and how well they have played. That is their only third win in ten
Test. A very physical performance. They deserved it. They just deserved
it. They showed a lot of courage and bravery. They had a lot of injuries
to deal with. A lot of these guys came through very well. Ali Price
showed the quality international player he is going to be. Lots of
guts and effort. Fraser Brown, Hamish Watson and Richie Gray. They
pitted a big shift. It was just so physical. I think that just told it,
France were able to control the second half a bit more, and just
have those big moments. Scotland never looked like scoring a try, and
when they did, they got a good bounce of the ball. They bossed it
quite well, France. We talked at half-time about the game may be
cutting loose, that helped Scotland, but it didn't work out. It was
almost smacked different halves of rugby. The French pack really
dominated the second half. It was hard for Scotland to get themselves
together. It is so hard to win games in modern rugby. You can see the
French bench and especially the forwards made the difference. As I
said, we needed to score very early in the second half, that is what
Scotland need. We managed to come back row quickly into the game and
put that penalty, you know, it made as comeback 16-16, it was very help.
Like at that point, Scotland should have been a little bit further
ahead. There was a controversial moment with the conversion. Let's
might look at the Lamerat tried, the no cry. All of us here were gassed
that this went away -- were aghast. It was in front of the post and
decided to go for it. There is a finger on the ball, that's all it
is. It's downward pressure. Look at this here. The referee said forward
motion of the ball. I think if you look, we try to close up there. I
think there is a hand, a finger on that there. I think he would be
wanting that tries. He said it lost control, it doesn't matter if you
have got control, if you have got downward pressure, it looked like
the finger was there. We were aghast when the try wasn't given. I totally
agree with that. We will get the reaction from Stuart Hogg, who
scored today, the fifth player after so boring in five consecutive Six
Nations matches. Stewart, such an entertaining match -- after scoring.
A bruising wants everyone to play in. They board of attrition. It was
indeed. France have a massive physical pack. We chucked it away in
the end, I think. What ultimately did it come down to? Hard errors
cost us. We got ourselves in good positions, you can see our patience
in attack. We got a try from it but we didn't respect the ball enough.
Ultimately it cost us. A try from you on your 50th cap, a great
milestone for you regardless of the score? I'm chuffed, a dream to play
for Scotland, but at the end of the day it is not the result will of him
for. Our next job is Wales in a couple of weeks' time so we have to
get ourselves back and go against point. About relations, a
hard-fought battle but ultimately France on the right end of it,
unlike against England. We made a lot of mistakes on the first half
and we can get our game into place. But we desperately needed a win, so
we are going to take that. It was a bruising encounter for both sides, a
real war of attrition. Where did France have the edge over Scotland?
We know it was a big pat? I think it could have gone either way. We were
really lucky to sneak it in there. But we threw away a lot of
opportunities and made a lot of mistakes. We kept Scotland and the
game. We disappointed with our performance. Thanks very much,
Scott. France's first win of the Six Nations campaign means they are up
and running on five points. They got a bonus point last week. Scotland on
five points as well. These bonus points are coming into play, look at
how tight it is making the table. That's my go back to the Tim Swinson
try, a brilliant way to start the second half. ... The try was
interesting, but what happened next? Tommy Seymour gets a nice balance to
the ball, but great work rate by Tim Swinson. Watch this could...
Scotland are celebrating, you have got 90 seconds to make the
conversion. Plenty of time to allow this to happen. The kicking is not
on yet. But look at the time, only 20 seconds going. This code at the
time have really been a tight, tight game. Imagine if Scotland had lost
by a point or two points. Again,... The momentum... Russell is down on
the ground as if he is about to take it. Which you never see, he has
still got plenty of time. Nathan Hines is coming on, throws the
kicking tee. With urgency. We could hear on the ref mic saying, take it,
take it, rush it. It was a really strange is coming on, throws the
kicking tee. With urgency. We could hear on the rest mic saying, take
it, take it, rush it. It was a really strange set of circumstances.
It was just a bit weird. It's quite extraordinary coming the anomalies
and the things that you see. It didn't matter in the end because the
score was not as tight. They will take heart from many aspects of
brilliant performance but they will be gutted to have not got that
second win in the opening games. Of course they will, they could easily
have won the game. We could have been more pragmatic in the last ten
minutes. Finn Russell chose to move the ball a couple of times. But
that's the great thing about Finn Russell, he is going to have a go
and try and win that game. Sometimes it doesn't quite come off but
equally we by saying how brilliant it was and he. For France, this is a
huge step in the right direction. It is a huge step. We had three losses
in the last three games against New Zealand, Australia and England, the
best teams in the world. It is important to win. You can't build a
team on losses. We really needed to improve. Andy, I will give you the
last word but it is going down on the red button because we are going
over there right now. Plenty more action at interviews as well.
Scotland can get the back-to-back opening win in the Six Nations. They
will try again next time. See you on the red button.
MUSIC The roar from the Stade de France
gets the game going. Stuart Hogg scores the point! Spedding!
I've got enemies in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Gabby Logan introduces live coverage of France v Scotland in the second round of the Six Nations. Scotland have never won in Paris in the competition, with their last victory there coming back in 1999 in the old Five Nations. But the Scots did end a ten-year winless run against France at Murrayfield last season, so will be hopeful of a similar outcome at the Stade de France.
Match commentary is by Andrew Cotter, Chris Paterson and Ali Williams, while Thomas Castaignede, Andy Nicol and Mike Blair are with Gabby in the studio.