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Murrayfield, scene of autumnal
triumphs, cast today at a theatre of
redemption for a Scotland team
dismembered last week. Take heart
with these words, victory is always
possible for the person who refuses
to stop fighting.
to stop fighting.
Scotland is far
more optimistic than I have seen
them for a long time.
are full of confidence, there is an
The players they have
got and the form they are in...
cannot wait to put what we have done
in training onto the field.
Nations once again.
And it is a try
for Wales. What a start for the home
Who will believe what they are
doing is the right thing?
Is there a
way back for Scotland?
Wales. Half-time seems a long time
ago. They did not have any variety,
they did not have a plan B.
are going towards victory here.
cannot lose the physical battles
like they did today all over the
The free scoring Scots have
That is trying number
We did not play the way we are
Scotland can take one
small thing from this match.
a sobering experience.
I said to the
players I think we will better them.
They were complacent in their own
We did Pooley and we are
working out why that was the case.
week is a long time in rugby, before
the opening match is both the side
harboured ambitions of being
championship contenders and now it
is about making the most of what is
left, putting together a winning run
and hoping England and Ireland
falter. And for Scotland it is about
telling the sporting public that the
nation does not go away. That live
shot will do wonders for the
Scottish tourist board. Edinburgh is
sparkling on a golden but freezing
Sunday afternoon. As the camera
keeps panning from right-to-left
from the castle all the way across
this magnificent city we find
ourselves there, at Murrayfield
where, on a day like today, this is
the most magnificent stadium.
Keeping the faith for Scotland is
Andy Nichol. Olivier Marteel EA is
here with us, one of the great
French players of all time. Andy,
Scotland, over the last week or so,
what is the general consensus?
huge disappointment in the
performance and everybody wants to
see this team come out here today
and play with the aggression and
physicality and tactical awareness
they did not show last week and show
everyone this is a good team that
had a bad day last week.
French perspective, OK they lost to
Ireland in dramatic circumstances,
but were the French public
encouraged by the French
Yes, they were happy
about the attitude of the team. Of
course we were disappointed to lose
in the last minute against Ireland,
but Ireland deserved to win. They
have started to build a new spirit
and a new attitude, built by Jacques
Brunel, and they will show it as we
It is the first time you have
been here as a spectator, what are
your impressions of this?
if you are Scot playing here, and it
would be fantastic. If this was
taking place one week after they
played Australia, everybody would be
looking forward to it and thinking
Scotland were going to win. Scotland
are still a good team. Just because
they had a bad state last week does
not mean that they will play badly
this weekend. Rarely do they play
badly twice in a row. I expect them
to come back this weekend.
were two games yesterday. In one
match it was raining tries and in
the other match it was just raining.
There was a TMO decision that will
be talked about for years to come.
And it is Henshaw again. Can anyone
get him? Henshaw on the line. He
felt something. Has he done
something to his arm? A penalty to
Italy, quickly taken. The pass was
given away and it is a race. Can he
go himself? He will score again.
Anthony Watson followed up well.
Owen Farrell puts boot to it and
Johnny May is going to the race.
Johnny May is going to the race. Try
awarded, Johnny May of Leicester.
That was just after two and a half
minutes. It has gone along. An
inside pass and a second try for
He knows there is an advantage.
REFEREE: We want to know if it is a
tried, yes or no?
tried, yes or no?
What does this
come off? It looks like it was off
his knees so far. The ball is in
goal. Who gets to it first?
goal. Who gets to it first? He could
have beaten Anthony Watson to it.
REFEREE: The ball has come off any
of the Welsh player but it has not
been clearly grounded. Therefore it
is a scrum five metres back.
I can't hear you clearly.
try. I go back to the penalty?
Correct. I still cannot understand
why that is not a try. I think in
the wording there was something
about not being clear on the ground.
You can see he has got his hand on
the ball and he gets there first and
grounds it. It is a big moment in
the game, particularly in front of
82,002 get the decision wrong. We
will be looking for clarification
It was a tough game,
full credit to Wales, they played
really well. I am sure they will
claim they were unlucky and maybe
they were, but there is a team up
there who makes the decisions.
it a try or no try?
I do not make
The TMO made that. It
was down to pressure. How big a
turning point do you think it was?
We do not know. It was not a try, so
The momentum seem to
be with Wales at that moment in time
and it could have been a very
different score. You guys know more
than us. I would not suggest that,
but tight games can turn on these
margins, can't they?
We have a team
up there to make those decisions. He
has got all the time in the world to
make the decision and he makes it.
An impasse between Sonia McLauchlan
and Eddie Jones. This is how the
table looks at the end of the second
weekend. England and Ireland have
two victories. We are having
difficulty getting hold of a
Tried or no try? It was a try and I
think he got it wrong. We have seen
the evidence that he got there
first. It was a huge core and the
TMO was brought in to get those
decisions right and that is what was
I feel for the
Welsh boys, I completely agree with
It was a
difficult decision, but they
deserved to win as well, the Welsh.
You think by and large England were
the better side?
They showed a bit
more firepower in the first half and
Wales came back in the second-half.
Had Wales got that tried, they still
would have been trailing. Be
brutally honest perhaps they just
edged Wales in that game.
the opportunities got Williams had
I recognised him coming
through a few years ago. The amount
of ground he covers. He is on the
right-hand side the screen. He has
an incredible workrate.
an incredible workrate. Because he
was in the second half, it was more
significant perhaps than in the
It was wet with the
rain, so he almost went to low and
Sam Underhill did that as well. That
was a huge part of the game as well
because there was real momentum
there. I thought Wales with Gareth
Anscombe at ten brought their
attacking game and they were
finishing stronger. Probably England
When you score a match
when there is 30 points between the
sides, you are never sure if one
team played well or one team played
badly. Let's get a view on this Paul
He is with Lee McKenzie. It was
interesting because it was against
Italy but it was a commanding
performance by Ireland. What pleased
you most about that?
It was a very
clinical performance. Ireland were
really organised and they opened
them up with some very clever
playing and classic Jo Smith plays.
Then there was creativity as well.
The turnover ball and some fantastic
tries. They conceded 19 points which
they will be disappointed with, but
Italy has very good players as well.
An excellent performance overall.
The big thing is Andrew Porter, the
young tight head, adding some
strength to the squad. Jordan
Larimer is well getting some game
time. It was a really good outing
for Ireland. Robbie Henshaw is
really important and the injuries
will be a worry. But overall it was
great to see.
Ireland have the
talisman of Johnny Sexton and Finn
Russell will be under the spotlight
today and you have been looking at
He is a fantastic
player and I played against him at
the end of my career. He is good at
picking slow, old forwards out in
the defensive line. He sees the game
a bit quicker than everyone else. He
got some criticism during the week
because he was enjoying himself. He
is a player who needs to be relaxed,
said there is nothing wrong with
smiling and being relaxed. You need
to lead the team a bit better than
he does. Johnny Sexton and Owen
Farrell pick and choose their
moments brilliantly for Ireland and
England. I think Finn Russell was
trying to pull out a magic play
every time the other day. He is
amazing and he needs to let it
happen at the right time and do the
right thing for him and his team.
This turnover was one of many and it
led to the final Welsh try. I think
it will be a big learning experience
for him at the weekend. I expect a
much better performance from him
He is quite like the young
Gregor Townsend. Gregor was quite
mercurial at the start of his
You want someone who wants
to play and certainly the way
Scotland play, he is ideal for them.
But he just needs to pick and choose
his moments a bit better. Sometimes
when the defence are on the top it
is part of rugby, and you probably
need to go kicking. There are
moments when you can have a crack
and there is no better time when you
are on top in the six Nations. It is
about choosing your moments.
now located the table!
It is fair to say that the loser of
this match here today at Murrayfield
can kiss goodbye to any hopes of
being champions. If most of the away
fans travel more in hope than
expectation, not the French because
this is a very happy hunting ground
for them. Although the conversation
today will have centred on why the
game last weekend could not have
ended differently. France, an old
coach. Simple, old-fashioned and
worryingly frequent knee injuries.
As for the rugby, little more than
this, a one-man source of pent-up
You were not onside
when you played that ball.
one-man machine. France is never out
of touch. But was this another knee
injury? After 70 pretty forgettable
minutes of rugby in the ring,
suddenly and memorable finale. A
conversion, a penalty and a final 40
phase build-up. Everything leading
to this. I Johnny Sexton special.
Two small point the difference. But
what a difference.
They were talking about the French
Number ten, having mentioned Finn
Russell and Johnny Sexton and
wearing the number ten
jersey is Lionel Beauxis. Is this
inspired or desperate?
I think it is
more desperate. The best number ten
's are foreigners. It is difficult
for us to find. I think it is a
mistake for Jacques Brunel giving it
to Lionel Beauxis. He is a good
player, maybe he can do something to
help the French team. At the moment
we are not looking forward to the
future, we are just looking to win.
It is a today selection and not a
tomorrow's election. Last week,
France against Ireland, and this is
a real stat for the rugby nerd. The
most tackles ever made in a single
six Nations match last week by
France against Ireland. The top five
of those tackles are all against
Arlen. I don't know what you read
into that. Does that mean that the
French defence last weekend was
outstanding or that Ireland could
not break it down?
I would be saying
why did they make that many tackles?
Is it because France could not turn
the ball over in defence? Did they
not keep it in attack? You need to
look a little bit deeper than the
can tackle. How do Scotland get away
France were very good
around the rock and their forwards
are very aggressive and they defend
quite tight and they come off the
line very fast.
I don't think Scotland will want to
take on France in these exchanges.
On this occasion Ireland do not have
enough numbers to go wide. Outside
in that channel there was a lot of
space and they did not follow up
that defence. Ireland went pretty
narrow and not wide. This means they
can regenerate their whole backline.
Ireland have got numbers to go wide
on this occasion. They go wide and
expose the channel. This is what
Scotland are good at.
Scotland are good at.
have to get the ball in that space
as he has identified very well.
is the loudest PA system at any
international ground. Is this part
of the Scottish tactic?
We need to
The Scottish fans
who went down to Cardiff last
weekend had a long and dispiriting
journey back home. Worth it
performances in the autumn against
the all Blacks an illusion? Today
will not be easy because Scotland
have only beaten France twice in the
six Nations. There is a sense of
expectation here at Murrayfield that
we have not enjoyed for a while.
they score! Extraordinary. Surely
they must score? And they do.
Scottish pandemonium. There will be
no French grand slam.
recent times have dominated this
A try for Scotland! And
Duncan Taylor reaches for the line.
What a try from Duncan Taylor. And
France hit back.
France hit back. What a finish! A
win for Scotland.
Apart from a couple of Scottish
calamities here at Murrayfield in
2004 and in Paris a year after that,
this fixture is hugely entertaining.
Gregor Townsend is with Lee.
After that tough weekend in Cardiff
last weekend, the players are using
phrases like redeem themselves and
right the wrongs. How much pressure
is on the Scotland side today?
probably do not focus on the
pressure. We are focusing on the
French speed, what they do at set
pieces, but we demand a lot of
ourselves and last week was no good
enough. We have a chance to what we
are good at and what we can do very
well and what we are about.
it like at the camp this week?
good. The first half of the week is
finding out why certain things
happened and what we would do
differently. The second half of the
week is building up and producing
our best performance.
team will pose different questions
and Wales. What is the biggest
threat from them today?
physical team, so the set team is
where they pride themselves in that
area. The scrum, the line-out ball.
In the last few games they have
defended very well and they compete
very hard. Having picked a kicking
stand-off, maybe they are looking
for their defence to play a bigger
role. We have to make sure that we
are accurate and we work hard and
take our chances.
Six changes to the
side, Greg Laidlaw stars.
you expect? He is an excellent
player and he is back in form and in
full fitness. His role at number
nine is important and it will ensure
we get quick ball away. But also
what he does is his experience and
his leadership will help us a lot.
Thank you very much. In Cardiff last
week the first question I asked you
was, it is already a big call
picking Ali Price at scrum-half and
he said it was an obvious thing to
do. Is this a big call?
has been almost his own
personification of Greg Laidlaw's
tactics and how he wants to play. I
felt last week he struggled on the
tactics. Greg Laidlaw has been
brought in for his leadership and
his game management and the ability
at times to control Finn Russell.
Let him play, because that is what
Scotland want him to do, but control
him and play him in the right areas
and just have that calm voice around
him. Last week Cornell du Preez, Ali
Price and Finn Russell, Huw Jones,
they have changed three out of four,
so to control Finn Russell and with
Greg Laidlaw it will allow him to
play his game and let the others be
almost the tactical awareness, the
game management. Almost to put the
handbrake on him at times and then
take it off as well. You want Finn
Russell to play his natural game.
Peter Horne is equally important.
Either side of that he can allow
Finn Russell to play his game and
let these guys control what is
happening around him.
Do you think
the French will target Finn Russell
today? Are they hoping he will have
an erratic game again?
France is more focused on what they
want to do and Jacques Brunel is
looking for the confidence. He wants
them to be clear with the set piece,
the line-out. Maybe they will be
waiting for the turnover to
counterattack and score. At the
moment France is not able to play
like we like to see them play. But
it will be step-by-step.
We have to
be patient. Turnovers are very key
and the Scottish back row showed
changes from last week. What do you
read into this?
Scotland struggled a
little bit at line-out against
You want to have a success rate of
90% plus. Brian Wilson is a very
good line-out option. He is a very
good leader in the Scottish team and
he is aggressive as well.
It is all
about the passion and getting the
emotion right. He carried the ball
very well in the last five minutes
last week. I think he has been
brought in to spice up the pack. He
has got the right attitude to be the
leader upfront to take this pack
A quick thought about the
French front row.
French front row. Tell us about
I think he is one of the
world's best hookers. I thought he
was brilliant last week and he is a
real go to man for France.
is today about the mind given what
happened last week for Scotland?
start is very much about the mind
because the physical then has to
take over. I want Scotland to come
firing out of the blocks from the
changing room and play with that
real attitude and passion in the
first ten minutes and take France on
physically. They cannot do that the
whole game because France are big
side, but then allowed their natural
game to evolve.
It is a beautiful
day, can we see some running rugby
from France today?
I don't think so.
I don't think we are able to play
that kind of game. I don't think
they want to go too fast. They have
some new players, it is a new coach.
Many things have happened over the
last few months for France. I think
we have to wait before we see a new
New coach, new French
team, two sides waiting in the
tunnel as you can see. Final word
from you, Sam. What kind of a game
might this be? Can Scotland afford
to throw caution to the wind?
perfect whether to do that. I hope
Scotland stick to what they can do
over the last few months, just play
rugby. I am going to go with home
advantage today and Scotland will
Scotland loved playing at
Murrayfield, the atmosphere is great
and they have had a good record here
recently. Let's hope they get their
campaign back on track.
pictures in this stadium on a
glorious afternoon and there is a
huge French contingent. You can hear
them in Murrayfield, there is a
beautiful, blue sky. Polo,
Glaisdale, crisp, numbing, it may
not be South Korea, but we need a
match that is heart-warming and
heart stirring because it really is
a bit party. But here we go with the
third instalment of the second round
of the six Nations in 2018. Paul
O'Connell, Chris Pattinson and
Andrew Cotter are your commentators.
# 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
# Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces feroces soldats
# Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes
# Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
# Marchons, marchons
# Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons #.
Ladies and gentlemen, led by a lone
piper, please remain standing for
the national anthem of Scotland.
# O flower of Scotland
# When will we see your like again
# That fought and died for
# Your wee bit hill and glen
# And stood against him
# Proud Edward's army
# And sent him homeward
# Tae think again
# Those days are passed now
# And in the past they must remain
# But we can still rise now
# And be the nation again
# That stood against him
# Proud Edward's army
# And sent him homeward
# Tae think again. #
The sound of Murrayfield for the
first time in this championship and
where last week much was expected of
Scotland this week agreed deal is
demanded and these are the players
who tried to deliver. Simon Berghan
returns from a ban maybe not the
strongest scrummager but he brings
bulk and ball carrying. Greater size
in the second row with Grant
Gilchrist in Fort Ben Toolis. The
main change that scrum-half in the
backs, Greig Laidlaw is different to
Ali Price, still no Alex Dunbar in
midfield, Huw Jones moves back to
outside centre, Sean Maitland is in
for Byron McGuigan. Not so many
changes for France, Kevin Gordon is
out so number eight is Marco
Tauleigne. A powerful front five.
The front row will expect to make
their presence felt. Two changes in
the backs, Geoffrey Doumayrou comes
in at centre and the biggest talking
point, the return after six years of
Lionel Beauxis at fly half. On the
bench, for Scotland Dave Denton
returns to bring energy to the back
row and Blair Kinghorn could make
his debut. Louis Picamoles is back
on the bench for France. The
conditions are near-perfect if
somewhat chilly. The stage is set, a
lot of French supporters in who have
been making themselves heard but it
is a home match for the Scottish
point of view and a welcome home
match. There is Lionel Beauxis. A
very different type of game they are
expected to play with him, he will
try to take and control, Chris.
will look to kick and kick
contestables to get this big forward
pack into the game. John Lacey will
have his work cut out.
game of the second weekend underway,
the message has been clear from
Scotland, they will try to play a
creative, high paced game. Fewer
errors and a bit more direction.
Hamish Watson was one of the ball
carriers last week but you can hear
the French fans and immediately wide
from Scotland but Maitland has no
way round Teddy Thomas.
way round Teddy Thomas. Jonny Gray a
blend -- upended.
blend -- upended. Taken well by
Palis but Huw Jones gets to him. An
opportunity and immediately Vakatawa
will try to punch holes in the
Scottish defence. Guirado goes out
why to Teddy Thomas and good hands
to Lamerat and he just get it back
to Thomas. Machenaud again.
to Thomas. Machenaud again. Good
defensive work by McInally but
smuggled back and hit at pace and
good work by Doumayrou. The La
Rochelle centre taking his chance
well in the opening moments. Some
power from Camara. The turnover was
good but lost and France get an
opportunity once more.
Contest on the floor. France have it
once more. Machenaud to Yacouba
Camara, the Montpellier flanker. The
French fans making noise again.
Palis trying to find a way past
Laidlaw. Into the Scottish half come
The pass eventually comes to Teddy
Thomas and he slips past Finn
Russell and the is there again and
he is doing it once more! Teddy
Thomas! Deja vu at Murrayfield!
Teddy Thomas as he did in Paris,
does here again at Edinburgh and
what a start for him and France.
Incredible start the ball was in
play for two and a half minute an
enormous identical try from last
week from Teddy Thomas. His
confidence must be high, he shrugged
off Finn Russell and turned on the
afterburners. A fantastic try and he
seems to be in good form.
seems to be in good form.
says, two and a half minutes and not
ticked at all by the French. A bit
scrappy at times, Thomas had it all
to do but he got on the outside of
Russell and he could have passed it
but he decided to take on Hogg and
had the power and strength to get
over for his seventh try. So
electric with ball in hand. We all
thought the French would kick but
they have come to play.
heard from the French camp, letting
messages slip out, it'll be a game
with Beauxis, one game plan and then
It looked like he was
trying to take but John Barclay got
at him and stopped him but the rest
of the Scottish team had to react to
that and shut it off.
attempt for Maxime Machenaud.
Accompanied by the Marseillaise from
the stands. Scotland gave away an
early try in Cardiff last week and
have done so again here at
Murrayfield and what a finish.
was a good finish but it was one on
one tackles missed.
The bounce pass
is often the best in rugby!
the defence on their heels.
will look for a response but France
already looking lively.
Machenaud sends up the box-kick.
Wenceslas Lauret chasing for France
but taken well enough. Barclay feeds
Simon Berghan, brought in for some
ball carrying. Hamish Watson,
deceptively strong. Russell once
more to Jonny Gray. Gordon Reid and
Wilson lend a hand. Russell again.
Hugh Jones spills in the contact,
French ball again. French scrum.
first scrum Fort Simon Berghan. He
has not played in six weeks after
his suspension over Christmas. This
is a part of the game that was weak
for Scotland certainly towards the
end of the game last week against
Wales. A big moment for the Scottish
scrum. It France sent weakness here,
they could go after them all day.
Looking at the front rows, Slimani
is one of the best scrummagers in
the world come up against Gordon
Reid and Guirado is a good
scrummager as well, and Jefferson
Poirot against Berghan but an injury
at the moment.
That was the bounce
pass. It puts the defence on their
heels, Thomas is first to react and
he is so quick also get outside Pete
Horne and his team-mates would have
been frustrated if he did not make
it but he had all the confidence,
his second try in two weeks and that
is what it means, scoring within two
minutes. Scotland wanted and needed
a good start after last weekend but
Teddy Thomas and France got it.
takes the sting out of the home
crowd when you travelling team, if
you can silence the spectators. The
first scrum and as Paul said, it is
a big moment because France should
have the upper in this department.
Machenaud not happy and John Lacey
will let them do it again.
your height up.
He is a tall pop,
Simon Berghan. Scrummaging is not
his forte but he is getting better.
Richard Cockerill as talk about that
at Edinburgh. He is coming back from
a six-week ban and up against
Penalty to France is the result of
the first scrum. Back slaps all
Very hard to see from here.
John Lacey was saying that Gordon
Reid went down to his knees early
will stop it is hard to tell but it
is still an important moment. This
is one place where forwards can
influence territory. If you give
away penalties in the scrum or in
the ruck, you can get 40 or 50 yards
down the field and you now have the
French running at the Scottish.
Guirado and sent back beautifully
and a chance for Remi Lamerat to
carry for a moment and then
Jefferson Poirot. France with a
direct approach here.
direct approach here. Machenaud take
the loop around and the kick is half
charged down. Scotland secure
possession and will try to get some
go forward. Berghan setting it back.
Gray and Gilchrist and Watson and a
penalty to France. Scotland yielding
possession again. A familiar tale
for those who watched last week.
think it was sealing off.
poached by the French. It is amazing
to see them take the line-out of the
top and into the middle of the
field, putting their forwards around
It was Wenceslas Lauret
who got in first and over the ball.
Rabah Slimani is not looking
at all good at the moment.
What does John Lacey mean by
transferring weight? Slimani is key.
Is he setting his stall out early on
because the first scrum was a
penalty to underline his position?
It is a very hard part of the game
to referee. I know John Lacey, he
used to play for Munster and he
lives very near me and he does a lot
of work refereeing the scrum and he
referees the Munster training for
the scrum and Irish training.
Machenaud with his second kick at
goal. Ideal start for France, ten
points within ten minutes here at
Murrayfield. Scotland looking to put
right the wrongs of last week but so
far it is all France.
the one from the scrum that allowed
France to get field position and
then Scotland turn it over and got
penalised again and two minutes
later it is 10-0 already.
Up it goes from Maxime Machenaud.
Yacouba Camara almost got to it but
a little knock forward so Scotland
will have the scrum.
battles are so important, we saw
them yesterday at Twickenham. A lot
of teams using the box-kick with the
wind chasing and you need a solid
full-back orc winker under the high
ball is -- or winger.
It can hold up
in that channel by the East stand,
almost blows the ball back infield.
And Tamara is so good in the air and
athletic -- Camara.
The scrum under
scrutiny, Nigel Owens on the
touchline. Scotland holding firm but
away it comes through Wilson and now
with Russell and out wide and a
chance for Scotland. Chasing that is
Tommy Seymour and Teddy Thomas plays
a bit of football and he whacks it
into the West stand, try scorer and
last man covering for France.
Excellent kick by Stuart Hogg, it
was perfectly weighted to make
France put it out. Scotland bought
five metres out and it is a real try
It was good
from Scotland to apply the pressure
because the scrum had skewed the
wrong way. That was the space that
Sam Warburton was on about.
the edge to attack France. The
line-out did not go well against
Wales. Gilchrist is the line-out
call and now the whole of
Murrayfield calls for a drive but
not going anywhere at the moment.
Laidlaw points and Scotland make
their way to the line but the ball
is still back at source. Everybody
lost for a moment. Back at the feet
of Gordon Reid. He carries himself
with Barclay and Berghan. Scotland
had to come again. The French event
in the starting blocks. Jonny Gray.
-- French defence. Through comes
Iturria and a good counter ruck by
France but it is now Hogg with some
space to run and tried to step
through the heavy traffic.
Jonny Gray bounces off one man,
Machenaud felt that Gilchrist and
Russell gives the past and it is
Maitland for the try! Scotland
working well and Maitland finishes
it and Scotland hit back at
Fantastic carry from
Jonny Gray, he gets outside the
defender, off-loads to Gilchrist. He
puts Finn Russell away who puts
Maitland in. Fantastic try and very
sensible from Scotland, to get into
the corner, the five metre Drive,
they don't score from the drive but
hang on to the ball and that was the
That was the big
carry from Jonny Gray, the pass from
Gilchrist allowed space to be
attacked on the outside and Russell
delivered it. That was Machenaud,
the smallest man on the field, a
tough number nine but the second row
and Scotland get it free on the edge
of the patient build-up after the
initial line-out drive that was well
defended by the French but Sean
Maitland keeps his width and scores
in the left corner.
And for Byron
McGuigan who had a hamstring injury,
Maitland has now scored a few tries
for Scotland, this is his seventh
and right in the corner. A tough
kick and the man taking the kicks
today is Greig Laidlaw.
He has done very well indeed. It
looked a bit tired as it reached
halfway but it made it and from that
angle it is a wonderful conversion.
It is, it is a strong wind in the
far corner. Gilchrist shifting it
on. They were expecting the second
row to carry but another look at the
conversion which just made it over.
Extra two points for Scotland.
conversion which just made it over.
Extra two points for Scotland.
Lionel Beauxis with length on the
Extra two points for Scotland.
Lionel Beauxis with length on the
restart but that kick is charged
down, it is a big in-goal area. The
ball is dead. Hogg was ready to send
that the length of the pitch but a
good charge down.
Both kickers have
been caught. Lahmert charged it in
the shins, it must have been low
from Stuart Hogg.
The restart from Russell. He gives
it some height and a bit of
distance. Geoffrey Palis gathers it
in. Beauxis finds Sebastien
Vahaamahina. The mountain on the
Lamerat tries to slip it to Thomas,
John Lacey said it went backwards.
Lamerat was able to salvage it.
Machenaud onto Remi Lamerat again.
He keeps his hands free, thinking
about the off-load.
Teddy Thomas is at it again come
almost. It was Barclay and Berghan
who got to him as Vahaamahina goes
into Gilchrist. That goes out
sideways and Scotland have a chance
to counter. Hogg had to check and
take the pass and quickly taken down
Barclay into Lamerat. Simon Berghan
feeding Gilchrist. He goes into
Arthur Iturria. Scotland creeping
forward. McInally and Watson, well
met by Guirado. Russell with a low
kick and Palis has time. That is a
good-looking kick as well, just
stays infield for Stuart Hogg. He
sends it high. Vakatawa take it
well, powerful winker. He decides to
feed it on but the pass from Marco
Tauleigne is beyond Teddy, but an
opportunity still for Lamerat --
Teddy Thomas. A great charge by
Iturria, it goes to Scottish hands
though. Quick thinking by Machenaud
in defence. Russell with the long
pass to Barclay and Hogg now with a
little step to delay and he feeds
Jones who is taken down by Vakatawa.
Still on the Scottish side.
Russell, that was half touched and
goes to French hands and forward
comes Geoffrey Palis. A message
Stuart Hogg decides to take and
there is huge space back there and
Vakatawa seems in no hurry. All the
players tiring. Vakatawa prize
defines speed but was taken down
well. -- tries to find. It is a
wrestle on the ground but France
still have possession. Machenaud
taking a quiet moment to himself. He
gives it on and Poirot with a little
Some players are hands on knees, it
has been a tiring passage of play
and the French fans are trying to
lift their team. Russell coming
forward and take that well.
Attention from Beauxis. Laidlaw to
A bit of thunder from him over the
ten metre line. McInally is what
they can buy Slimani and Camara.
This will test the fitness of both
teams. Palis deals with that and
steps around Jonny Gray.
steps around Jonny Gray. France is
trying to add some direction through
Tauleigne. It goes to Beauxis. Once
again, it is Russell Fielding. A
little hitch kick but Teddy Thomas
gets to him. Penalty to Scotland.
Everybody can finally rehydrate and
gather and take stock.
penalty to the two John Barclay gave
away just after half-time last week
where the French number four Iturria
put his hands onto the floor before
he got to the ball but very long
periods of play and I think that
might suit Scotland. I think they
are fitter. France made 253 tackles
last week in the Irish game which
was a Six Nations record so there
will be a few tired bodies and I
think those long period will suit
Scotland and picked out a few tired
French forwards eventually.
to Scotland. McInally goes to
Gilchrist again and did well to take
that. Horne reaching for that one.
It was Doumayrou who
got over the ball in the outside
channel and that is what France
want, they give you the space on the
outside. Sean Maitland got
possession behind the Scottish line
as John Lacey has a couple of words
with John Barclay who is trying to
clear up what happened.
France put massive pressure on the
breakdown. Scotland already
conceding three penalties.
Beauxis finds touch.
This was the
tackle by Vakatawa and Doumayrou was
over it straightaway in a really
stronger position. Barclay and I
think it is Finn Russell cannot
clear him out.
That penalty came in the first
phase, similar to last week with
Scotland when they had good first
tackles missed by Scotland, just two
by France but their line-out is
stolen and Berghan goes up. Hamish
Watson again, one of the smallest
forwards but one of the strongest as
well. A wrecking ball. Russell over
the head of Vakatawa and out on the
full and a groan from the crowd.
Nobody is more frustrated than Finn
It was the right
option but the execution let him
down. There was space. Scotland were
moving backwards, but similar to the
penalty before that, conceding
possession and one or two phases
after winning it back. It is
difficult to put pressure on the
Plenty of his future
Racing 92 team-mate in the French
team, Russell heading there this
Vakatawa tries to go past Huw Jones,
make and tried to strip him but
still with France.
Machenaud is being told to use it.
There is a healthy debate he is
having with John Lacey. He
eventually does use it.
Beauxis just drops his head into the
knees of Jonny Gray and a little
spill forward and Scotland will have
Beauxis has taken a lot
of contacts, I think Scotland are
trying to fly up on his outside to
force him back in and most of the
kicking is coming from Machenaud and
Jacques Brunel knows Beauxis,
he played under him at Bordeaux, big
sis. They could about Trinh-Duc,
Jules Plisson, but Beauxis got the
The French first phase
looks quite good but after that they
have not been so good and that is
where Scotland can pressure them.
They have not had a lot of time with
the coach. The first phase is quite
easy but after more time with the
code, that might help.
scrums sober in the game. Scotland
ball but they have felt the pressure
in the last one. -- not many scrums
so far in the game. That it was well
placed and Palis is under the cosh
and Maitland and Hogg tried to hold
him up and move him towards touch.
Palis has done well with a bit of
Rolling forward, Wenceslas Lauret
and picked up by YouGov camera.
Beauxis and Tauleigne and France
coming again. Slimani, good
handling, Guirado bounces into
Berghan. France into the Scottish
half again. Good play to Marco
Tauleigne. Rabah Slimani. Ambitious
pass to Guirado but the captain does
Yacouba Camara again, wrestled down
by Jonny Gray. Beauxis gives it deep
to Lamerat and to Doumayrou add on
to Teddy Thomas again. The chip and
chase and three French men chasing
it and Laidlaw and it bounces for
Teddy Thomas! Try number two for
France! Teddy Thomas once again.
was great work across by Greig
Laidlaw to cover the chip but just a
horrible bounce of the rugby ball
did it and it is all going to Teddy
Thomas's way. I thought Scotland had
that cupboard and is not the first
time we saw it. Last time against
Wales, when teams go wide against
them they seem to struggle.
the camera set up the first one and
he was prominent. The ball is moved
to the outside again. France are in
total control because there was
space to attack and Stuart Hogg as
to come up and it is a foot race
between Greig Laidlaw and Thomas and
it is the cruellest bounce, the lack
of bounce that does Laidlaw. This
man is the X factor so far this
afternoon and it was the same last
week with his counterattack try
against Ireland. He got fortunate
there but the execution of the chip
at full pace and his effort to get
on the end of it gets the second
Great to see some French
off-loading as well from their
forwards, playing some old-style
French rugby which we thought we
would never see again. Some exciting
play from them and confidence is
Machenaud once again, a
little bit breezy out there. His
most straightforward kick so far.
And Machenaud is on target once more
and the try of Teddy Thomas is worth
seven points and France are leading
It is his eighth try, and he
is getting space on the outside
channel. Those are the most
difficult tackles to make when he is
out there but he is taking advantage
of the space with his fast footwork
and skill level.
Marco Tauleigne takes that well and
carries it in.
Machenaud sending it high in front
of the East stand again.
The turnover is good, says John
Lacey. Once again possession lost by
Camara pushes Stuart Hogg out of the
way and picks and goes himself.
Turnover this time and a penalty for
A lot of poaching going
on. I think the ball carrier needs
to work on the floor a bit more, a
little twist and turn and place the
ball longer and make the poacher go
off his feet.
And then overambition
from the penalty.
We saw this last
week from Finn Russell. As a forward
you get so excited about this
opportunity, you think you're going
to be walking down into a drive six
or seven metres down and it is so
deflating when you see it go dead
That was the wind you
were talking about. He was too
ambitious, you can only get the
line-out on the fibre line but the
wind comes off that stand and blows
it back in but he knows that and
should be making sure.
It ends in a
scrum to France back on their ten
It is a good view.
These are the
angles that are so interesting.
angles that are so interesting. The
loose head for France up against
Berghan. Slimani up against a read.
The crowd says it goes forward.
keep saying it, but that is not what
we expected from France at all. A
scrum deep in their own half where
you would imagine there would be a
contestable kick. Good ambition,
This is where the
play has been happening. Pretty even
in that. Scotland get a chance to
Maitland tries to get something
going from a standstill.
Simon Berghan has been useful in the
loose so far.
loose so far. The chance that
Laidlaw could not quite take. And
then he was held back a little bit
as he tried to gather at the second
attempt, but France send it long
anyway. Stuart Hall around the
outside and he gives it to Hamish
Watson. Scotland are far enough into
It was a good hit by Doumayrou one
Gilchrist. And through the gap goes
Huw Jones under the post! Try for
Scotland and Huw Jones does it
again. He finishes, but the whole
team was involved.
off-load at the back door and he
carried it really well and he stayed
on the left-hand side and cut a
clean, superb angle off Greg Laidlaw
to score under the post.
We saw in
the middle of the line of Scotland
tried to go as quickly as they
could. They tried to take quick
tempo line-outs. The ball carrying
of the Scottish forwards has been
excellent. Watson and Gilchrist,
carrying bought at the French and
generating quick ball as well.
Jones has eight tries in 13 caps.
The easiest of convergence brings
Scotland to within three points.
of the things that is making it a
great game to watch is both teams
struggled to defend when the
opposition go wide with the ball.
That is what we love as viewers. We
saw it with Robbie Henshaw yesterday
as well. But you are right, both
teams want to play today, the
conditions are good and with quick
possession it is great to see.
the slowest wander back to halfway
for France to restart the game.
Scotland have more of a sense of
That is the way Gregor Townsend
wants them to play. He wants them to
play with pace. It suits playing
against the French team as well.
They struggle when they are off the
pace and you take them through
The initial tackle was OK,
but the second body was not there in
order to slow the ball down.
last French line-out was pinched,
but this one was taken down simply.
This good malt may well end in a
penalty, but it is a good drive.
Taking it out of touch is Scotland's
early friend at the moment. And a
penalty to Scotland.
A big moment
for Scotland. Gregor Townsend said
he was expecting a good set piece
from France in the maul. The
Scottish drove them towards the
touchline and a big tackle drove
them back and got the penalty. That
is psychologically a big moment in
any game. When you expect something
like that and you deal with it as
well as the Scots did, it is a big
This was in the build-up to
the tribe. The town overcame and
France kicked away their advantage
and eventually Huw Jones got his
Scotland getting on the front foot
Scottish advantage, a penalty
coming. Just try a shot to nothing
here perhaps. And it was nothing,
but back they come for the Scottish
penalty and a chance perhaps to
knock it into the corner again.
cannot kick the ball forward out of
rock. You can it back. Finn Russell
has to get this right. These are the
moments where he cannot get excited.
The ball going into the 22.
were a cautious man, this would go
in on the 22 and that is where he
has gone for it. Teddy Thomas with
It was a cracking
effort. Did he have his goalkeeping
gloves on? It was a bit wobbly from
Finn Russell, but it is the outcome
that Scotland were looking for.
the noise inside Murrayfield he is
struggling to be heard. Gilchrist
has taken over the line calling
Hamish Watson in the scrum-half
position. A good challenge and
instead it was taken by Iturria.
France with an opportunity to clear
in the final minutes of this
entertaining first half.
Scotland will have the line-out
again. Good line-out defence from
France. We saw problems from
Scotland's last week against Wales
in the line-out and they are
repeating it here again today.
Gilchrist was making it clear that
it is not always the hooker's fault.
They had to reach across to take
that, but it works well for
The French defence is good. Maitland
goes into the French 22. France will
earn the penalty, the ball not
coming back. Horne complains, but it
was good work by Tauleigne.
Machenaud looks as if he has hurt
his shoulder. He had the tackle
around his legs. He was in a good
I think the ball carriers
could do more work on the ground,
twist and turn and make the poacher
go off his feet and over his centre
Looking at the tries so
far. Teddy Thomas very early in the
game. Poor defence perhaps, but try
similar to the one he got in Paris.
Those tackles are the most difficult
to make because there is so much
space. That was Scotland's first
tried by Maitland. That bounce was
unfortunate for Greg Laidlaw. And
this is Huw Jones. It was delayed
pass from Greg Laidlaw. That was
after another long phase play.
France are three points ahead, but
it has been a cracking first half.
Machenaud has been treated. Teddy
Thomas, what a talent he is.
And the touch is found and a couple
of minutes remaining in the first
half. The defence coaches look as if
they are not enjoying it, but it has
been entertaining from that point of
view. Gregor Townsend will have a
few things to talk about at
Camara took it down for France.
Advantage to France, a penalty comes
and arrives and an opportunity to
France to finish the first half with
He is having words with the
French hooker and captain, Guirado.
It was five plus one in that case.
It is tough when you lose these big
moments. They are into their own 22
now and the pressure is on.
a good kick as well. YouTube cam has
had a very good opening first half.
He is a crucial man in the line-out
The sound of Murrayfield
turns French as well.
Jones will be brought back for a
penalty to France.
penalty to France.
Jonny Gray just
bounced off the French jumper in the
air. A penalty as well because the
infringement was in the line-out.
Maxine Machenaud comes forward and
says he will take the kick and
France will try and end with three
points. A sensible decision.
there is a swirling wind. That was a
clear penalty. You could argue he
was contesting for the ball, but you
cannot make contact in the air at
all. This is a big kick for
A minute ago it was possession for
them in the French 22.
The wind will
be coming into his face.
touch of the first half to Maxine
Or his kicks have been good so far
in the first half. It stretches the
lead to six points. Two tries apiece
in this very entertaining first
half. 20-14 to France.
Hugely entertaining first half of
rugby. Does about good enough to
make you forget how cold it is and
how important that try from Huw
Jones is, his eighth in the 13 caps.
Although obviously there was a
penalty from Machenaud in the last
play of the match and France have a
It strikes you as being a fairly
level match, much more entertaining
from the French perspective.
And Olivier Magne, you did not
expect them to play like that.
got confidence with a very early try
at the beginning of the match. It
was a very good first half for
Having conceded a try very
early, are you consoled that there
is almost parity at half-time?
Scotland rode the ebbs and flows
out. It was not a good start. Some
of the things we saw last week came
out here. The inaccuracy with the
picking. But they produced good
rugby. It is a tight game, it is
entertaining and I think the second
half will be more of the same.
Sound. I thought France at the
beginning looked physical. They have
a threat from out wide with Teddy
Thomas and he looks a threat. But
for the first 30 minutes the ball
was in play for so long. That will
have an effect on the less physical
team in the second half.
need to keep the tempo like the game
had in the first 20 minutes.
try here was the first time that the
ball was out of play. It was two
minutes and 23 seconds before he
tried his score here and it was
almost an exact replica.
almost an exact replica.
out of many phases. When he picked
the ball up there, you thought there
was no chance that he would score at
that try. Finn Russell is on him. He
goes past Finn Russell. We know how
quick he is. But Teddy Thomas just
to get the angle. It was an
opportune try really.
not that bad, they just missed
tackles. Normally if they were
structurally all over the place, you
would have concerned. But you go
into the second half and you say,
you cannot afford to do that missed
tackle at international level.
France have players like that why do
they not use them more?
they not use them more?
through a very difficult series of
defeats. You can lose confidence
very fast. It is very slow to get it
back. Of course we have to choose
the player to play like we want them
to play and to play for the
international level. That is the way
we have to play if we want to exist
in the top four of international
teams. But I agree with Sam. Are we
able to play like that in the second
half? To maintain the tempo and
physically to be like that all
through the match?
That is a good
question. It is interesting what you
say about confidence. France have
not won a match in their last seven
internationals and they are
desperate to win a game. Greg
Maitland's try was key to get
Scotland back in the match.
ways this is what Scotland is all
about. This was a much better setup
than in Cardiff last week. Tommy
Seymour in that wide channel created
fantastic field position. Watch
Jonny Gray here. That was a
mismatch. That is Machenaud and he
goes in there physically and pushes
him out of the way. That allowed the
passage of play to go to Gilchrist.
It is a two on one and a simple try
and it was very good play for
John Barclay in the middle
of the week said how they needed to
win their set pieces. They have a
solid enough scrum where they
eventually got a line-out. They won
the line-out and it led to this and
that is why set pieces are so
important, they give you a platform
to launch your attack.
This is a
final look at the Maitland tried. It
is worth talking about the way the
French are playing. With Beauxis
playing his first international for
France for six years and 26
combinations have been tried in the
intervening period. We expected him
to get the ball and boot the leather
off it. He has not done that today.
He has not. International rugby has
changed so much. He is controlling
everything. He looks a bit tired.
But he attacks the line and he gets
the Scottish defence going back.
This went through a couple of phases
and he is still calling and talking
and controlling it. Then watch this
long past. This sets up the try out
wide. Structurally Scotland's
defence is good. Greg Laidlaw is in
the right position. But the rugby
ball can sometimes just bounce like
that. Beauxis set that up by
dairying his play. He is a class act
even though he has been out of the
international game for six years.
is good with his head, not only with
his kick. But the start was very
important because France started to
play with their hands and they got
the confidence by playing this way.
That is maybe why Beauxis did not
kick a lot. Maybe the second half
will be different and tactically
Beauxis needs to restore that to the
game. I am not sure we are able to
follow this rhythm all throughout
Huw Jones has an amazing
try scoring record. I am not sure
where the gap appeared, but he took
the chance brilliantly.
out opposition. You want a two or
three forwards outside of that rock.
You do not want the number ten to be
the first guy out of that rut. Finn
Russell caught the ball and he threw
it straightaway to Stuart Hall. Get
Stuart Hogg running at the defensive
line. They made a lot of yards and
then Huw Jones saw the gap. He saw
Beauxis out opposition and he ran at
his blind spot.
Well done, Scotland.
That is just instinct, having that
sixth sense where the gap is. We
have seen players over the years to
have that ability. Huw Jones looks
so much more comfortable in the
number 13 shirt than he did in the
12 shirt last week in Cardiff.
Half-time report on Finn Russell.
Mixed. I think he has changed his
game too much. He has tried to kick
more in this first half and
sometimes quite badly. It is finding
that balance. Just getting the
variety. Some of his kicks are bit
aimless. And then sometimes he is
looking for a little grubbers and
that was aimless. He is trying to
mix up the game which is one of the
things he had to do, but it is the
execution again. His kicking is
good, but it has to be accurate.
This is what we saw last week. This
is criminal. Our hard earned
penalty. But then the tactics and
the change in selection with Peter
Horne. He has got a left footed
kick. It does not all have to go on
Finn Russell's shoulders. I would
say it has been mixed so far, but in
attack he has got Scotland going
which is good.
Finn Russell was torn
limb from limb by Clive Woodward
about his performance last week. How
much can that get to a player and
how much will he have been conscious
of that today?
Personally if it was
me I do not read anything that is
going on outside of my camp. You
want to hear about things directly
through friends and team-mates. I
think players when they are playing
for an international test match it
is water off a duck's back. You are
only worrying about your job and the
opposition. He will be aware of the
comets, but I do not think he will
have read anything into it.
you make of that first half
From a neutral
perspective, this game has been
brilliant. The weather has been
great and both teams want to play.
It is turning out to be a great
We will talk more about this
in a second, but we are two fifths
of the way through the women's six
# Welcome to your life.
# You will always sleep
# You will find you being on your
best behaviour, turn your back on
# Everybody wants to rule the world.
Here is all the extra rugby
programmes that you can watch on the
BBC, radio, iPads, whatever you want
to do over the next few days.
There is the week of next week.
Scotland and England are back here
in a fortnight's time. How much do
Scotland want to win this match to
set the England
set the England match up as a
firecracker. And then there is this.
Guys, guys. Let's get some milk.
have the softest hands.
have the softest hands. You know
what? I take my
what? I take my coffee black.
have a 6-point lead at half-time in
the game at Murrayfield between
France and Scotland. We are
delighted to welcome for the first
time today Olivier Magne to our
punditry panel to relive the golden
days of Olivier Magne. I say golden
because that is partly the colour of
your hair in those days. These were
the great days when France used to
run all the time.
About the hair, it
was a bet I lost with my club. This
trike is a great try because it came
far from our side and many players
touched the ball. It is the way we
liked to play. We gave a lot of
happiness to the people who were
watching us play. That is why right
now when you finish your career, all
the people think about this and they
thank you for everything you did
with your French team.
What was that
It was about some
people who had said I was not the
Olivier Magne of years ago. So it
was to prove to them that I was
still there and ready to play for
the French team.
We had a couple of
tries like that today, which was
fantastic. There are elements of the
old France today. Can they keep that
going for the second half?
so. But they have to maintain the
rhythm like that. It is clearly a
battle of ten.
battle of ten. Between Finn Russell
and Beauxis, who will win the match?
France has a good chance and it will
be very close.
If this match opens
up in a big way in the last quarter
and if the French team does tire,
which people think they will do, is
this the day for Stuart Hogg and the
other players at the back to win
this match for Scotland?
Yes, and it
could be that Ali Price comes off
the bench to make a difference. It
has been a good 40 minutes from
Scotland as a reaction to the last
80 minutes in Cardiff. Now they are
about to go out and make this next
40 minutes about winning, that is
what it is all about now.
France would look at this and say
they need to score the first points.
They will be more than a trite
ahead. Scotland will say they have
to get on the
COMMENTATOR: Baptiste Serin it on to
replace Maxime Machenaud. Serin a
very experienced scrum-half.
Machenaud was the kicker as well for
France. We will see what they do in
that department but Serin has played
a couple of times against Scotland
before. Gilchrist hands that onto
Gordon Reid and Berghan, the two
props working hard.
Scotland with the first chance to
McInally straight into Vahaamahina.
The switch from Russell to Gray.
Ryan Wilson doing plenty of hard
work in the carrying department. So
is Berghan. He is a big man to stop.
France being told to leave it.
Wenceslas Lauret was the culprit.
Jonny Gray, Scotland just pondering
for a moment. Again, the French fans
inside Murrayfield making some noise
as Hamish Watson goes into Camara.
Hurled back by Vahaamahina. Scotland
battering away around the ten metre
line. Horne, around Slimani and
Iturria. Camara was the end of the
journey. Grant Gilchrist punching a
side Serin. He laid it back for his
second row partner, Jonny Gray, and
now Scotland have some momentum but
good work, I was going to say good
work by France but then the penalty
is given to Scotland. It was
Camara was locked on
on the poacher but the reason was
because Serin had stopped the
Scottish cleaners from getting into
the ruck and I think it was a bit
lucky for Scotland. Good ball from
the top of the line-out but very
ponderous for eight or nine phases.
Grant Gilchrist has carried really
well. I don't know if he was picked
for his ball carrying but he has
done well will stop he is an
aggressive ball-carrier and he will
run honest, hard lines all day.
Toolis is a bit more dynamic and
explosive, they both play for
Edinburgh, but Gilchrist. He is a
thickset lock and he has carried
Heavier man, he was named as
captain for Vern Cotter and then
broke his arm and had a series of
injuries but he has played well
today. Greig Laidlaw with the shot
He is a man who seldom misses and
Scotland within three minutes of the
second half beginning, have made a
Something we have seen
from the French before, if they can
hold onto the ball -- if you can
hold onto the ball, they will give
away penalties. That is an important
three points to start the second
half for Scotland. We saw them
conceding six point straight after
half-time last week and almost put
the game beyond their reach.
more deliberate move back to the
halfway line to restart for France
and Beauxis send it long. Ryan
Wilson gathers and goes straight
into Guirado, good strength. Laidlaw
gives it to Berghan. He has had a
good game around the park. So has
Hamish Watson. The ball is lost but
stripped back illegally. Scotland
with the penalty and France with a
couple of errors, Slimani
complaining to no avail and a chance
for Scotland to move up the field.
It is exactly what we spoke about, I
don't think any of that was
spectacular from Scotland and I
don't think France were under
It is just a missed
touch, good work by Beauxis to keep
it in but Finn Russell has done it
again. They will have to come from a
lot deeper now. Stuart Hogg try to
use his pace but there was some
illegal blocking of French
defenders. Hogg is frustrated but it
was quite clear, the crossing, and
France with a penalty.
I think it
was Ryan Wilson engaged in a
contact. If he had not made any
contact, he eventually pushed the
French defender, Hogg would have
been cables of you talk about error
compounding error, muscle missing
touch and suddenly France have a
shot at goal.
They have been the own
worst enemies. Indiscipline by
France and France give them a way
out. They compound it. The missed
touch and this silly penalty,
probably a bit unlucky, France
probably make a bit of a meal of it.
But you cannot put yourself in the
position to give those away.
It is a
ticking scrum-half in Baptiste Serin
who has replaced Maxi Machenaud and
he is taking this tick --
That is a fine strike from Baptiste
Serin. The wind is blowing around
Murrayfield but it does not put him
off. Perfect kicking record so far
today and a penalty apiece in the
second half and France have their
lead back to six points.
lead back to six points.
It was a
pretty harsh penalty but the error
from Finn Russell initially.
Nina had to do well there. He
stretched and got it back and
Wenceslas Lauret has it. Penalty
from one side to the other and
Scotland have the chance to hit
back. -- Vahaamahina had to do well.
That is something Rajitha been asked
to look out for, tackling players
beyond the ball -- referees have
been asked to look out for.
teams are determined to help the
opposition as much as they can! It
is the kind of place you just don't
need to give away a penalty. France
were always going to kick to exit
and clear their lines.
It is almost
three metres passed the ball,
wrapping the arms. Stuart McInally
has been cleared at the ready, no
need to follow through.
needed to let him go, three metres
beyond and he was still wrestling
with him and the referees are very
sharp on that now.
to make it four out of four.
Again it is good and Scotland move
to 20 points. So little in this
game. There was try scoring from
both sides in the first half but in
the second it is a couple of
You're looking for
your leaders to step up, it is in
the balance, both teams helping each
other with the discipline and you
need your senior players to take the
game by the scruff of the neck.
Beauxis has placed this well but
Gilchrist clutches it from the air.
Laidlaw staring down the French
defence. Maccarinelli takes it
forward. Laidlaw shapes to kick.
Challenged in the air, fair contest,
Geoffrey Palis came forward for
France but it is back on the
Scottish side and running on to add
page is Stuart Hogg skipping his way
around Lamerat and past Thomas and
still going. Laidlaw feed it out to
Russell who delays for a moment. He
decides to set it back. Huw Jones
trying to gather. He spills and
It is so frustrating
to watch. In fairness, Brilliant
exit from Scotland having the aerial
ball and you could see Stuart Hogg,
but Huw Jones takes his eyes off the
ball ever so slightly. You could see
Stuart Hogg was tempted to off-load
once or twice but he decided to keep
ball in hand and do the sensible
thing and put France under pressure
because if you can play in their
half they will give you penalties.
Just a shame disease Scotland
putting the ball down and facing
another scrum now.
It has not been a
match of too many scrums.
match of too many scrums. The
Scottish scrum stood up reasonably
well last time. Serin ready to feed.
Decent scrum from Scotland. Geoffrey
Palis straight to Stuart Hogg. Again
the buzz from the crowd. Onto
Seymour who goes into Serin and not
held and still going. Not any more.
Scotland striker to secure it but
good counterattacking from France,
it somehow comes back. Maccarinelli
again. Scotland with pace now.
Russell and the times did well to
Horne but a great tackle by Iturria.
Down the blindside. Barkley and
Gilchrist onto Gray. Slowed down and
a penalty to France. It was Iturria
getting the applause this time.
such a big man he is very good over
the ball, he is like a number seven.
I think that might be his second
penalty and he got a turnover as
well. The really good poacher, a
skill you normally associate with
the shorter number sevens, the likes
of Hamish Watson or Guirado is very
good as well. Super play by the
Brooks is for touch and
France will have the line-out. --
Beauxis. Just a few tempers getting
stretched out there.
There was a
little off the ball here, Stuart
Hogg and Doumayrou. Having their own
game on the touchline. Stuart
Patterson, the physio, lends his
France with a good position
and taken down well by Camara as
they get the rolling maul going with
Guirado at the back. Serin having a
look. It gets some momentum once
again. France making good ground.
Serin with the chip for Vakatawa to
chase. Comfortable enough for
Excellent maul defence from
Scotland, you could hear the referee
shouting to the French to use it. No
penalty conceded, really good
That is Bernard Laporte in
The Scottish Rugby president on the
Who is that walking across?
Finn Russell getting his boot back
on. It was not a bad option from the
driving maul, the kick. Just a bit
too heavy from Serin, who has been
busy since he came on. He had a good
penalty kick and he has been
industrious in defence. Quite a
slight number nine but hugely
Iturria upended but by his
own man. France coming again with
Camara. Wenceslas Lauret tries to
set it back. It is there for France
again. Beauxis do Camara and Palis
gathers at the second attempt.
After Iturria again. -- Arthur
Iturria. The little pass to
Vakatawa, so strong, the Fijian on
the wing will
the slide move does not work
initially but Teddy Thomas was there
to gather it up. Gilchrist clinging
on for dear life! France moving
forward well now.
Vakatawa again. Again, the power of
the wind meeting Jonny Gray. -- of
winger. Doumayrou into V-22 and he
set it back well.
The Scottish defence being sorely
tested once more. Jefferson Poirot
makes a couple of yards. It slows
down for a moment and Serin looks at
his options. The forwards in a pod.
Rabah Slimani. Still therefore
France. Advantage to France as well
with Iturria once more. Still
advantage to France and a free
attack as Russell makes the tackle.
Still playing with the penalty
advantage and to within ten metres.
The forwards still trying to make
something of it. A bit of pace and
that is Vakatawa again knocking down
Russell, still holding onto the ball
but they will now come back for the
penalty. The only result really that
Scotland could be happy with because
the penalty was always there.
thought the advantage was over.
thought the advantage was over. But
some good attack from France on the
right wing. I was confident Scotland
could defend that series, we are
looking at it from a pipe and France
don't seem to have great shape in
attack and Scotland look quite
organised in defence. I don't think
they need to give away those
The defence is very well
organised, not a lot of room for
France to attack. The damage is in
missed one tackles. Vakatawa was
involved two or three times and he
is dangerous around the contact.
This was the penalty given away.
Hands in the ruck. There was more
concerted pressure from the French.
I thought at one stage Beauxis would
drop into the pocket to take the
That is the French coaching
team, Jacques Brunel at the back and
the glasses, Sebastien Bruno as
well. The Marseille is once more
being sung. About to be made by
France, Picamoles about to come on
along with the front rows. And they
will come on with a six point lead
for France as Serin knocks it
through and France Harper doesn't
want. Changes for both teams with
Scotland bringing on Ben Toolis in
the second row and Jamie Bhatti in
the front row. The French
replacements, Louis Picamoles coming
on in the back row and Eddy Ben
Arous in the front row along with
Cedate Gomes Sa. There is Ben
Toolis. Coming on for Grant
Gilchrist and Jamie Bhatti is on for
Gordon Reid. That was Slimani going
off and Marco Tauleigne who has been
replaced by Louis Picamoles. A
glimpse of Jamie Bhatti on for
Gordon Reid. Straight into things,
Louis Picamoles, what a man to bring
on. What height on that from Serin,
chased by Camara but taken well by
Hogg. He lapped and plucked it from
the sky and carried on by Jamie
Bhatti. The Glasgow loosehead.
Scotland flinging it wide. Huw Jones
with good strength to get past Remi
Lamerat and he has made an extra ten
metres. Laidlaw complaining and
advantage to Scotland as Eddy Ben
Arous gets over it but it is a
Scotland penalty coming. Horne takes
it in. They know they have the
advantage. There was a long
advantage played for France last
time as Maitland keeps it alive. You
have to keep checking as a player if
the advantage is still alive. That
was Ryan Wilson. John Lacey saying
it is still advantage.
Scotland making good ground through
Russell. Laidlaw down the blindside
and Horne into the French wall. That
might be the end of it but no, still
advantage. Toolis into the 22 and
they will now come back for the
I think Scotland will be
happy to take that. When you get
into those higher numbers of phases
you can struggle to attack, struggle
for energy particularly at this
stage of the game and a penalty in
that position in the such a tight
Just a look at Louis Picamoles
and he fell out of favour in terms
of selection with Jacques Brunel and
only came in because Kevin Gourdon
was injured but a tremendous player.
He's a big impact player. I would
not call relentless, that is the
only problem. He has big moments but
he can go missing for periods of the
game. Some players might not offer
you the big moments but they keep
showing up, defensively and in
Greig Laidlaw's last three
kicks have been pretty much from
this position as we head into the
final quarter of the match. And the
game is still so close, three points
in it going into the final quarter.
John Lacey was quite clear speaking
to the French, telling them to let
go of the ball.
And that was good
because even in that phase, Scotland
were able to attack much better and
fluently when the ball was quick and
it's definitely suits them and the
French know it. They will put
pressure on the breakdown but it has
to be legal.
What a 20 minutes we
have, who has the deeper squad and
the greater fitness? Ryan Wilson
carrying in the restart. Both teams
are so desperate for a victory.
France with no win in seven.
Scotland off the back of that heavy
defeat in Cardiff. Picamoles now
full speed ahead.
Vakatawa once more. Not taken down
at the first attempt and into Hamish
Watson he goes and Watson wins 1-0.
But still with France and seven, a
little blind pass and risky, through
the feet of Picamoles but a hand in
there as well. That was risky from
France and it give Scotland the
scrum right in the centre of the
We want to see France playing
that kind of rugby, off-loading, but
they will give you opportunities.
They can give away penalties and
throw silly off-loads and put each
other under pressure. If Scotland
can remain disciplined when they get
The good thing about
that from Scotland, the defence kept
coming up on the outside. Sometimes
you can set off on the outside and
the ball does not get put under
pressure further out. That was hard
for Picamoles to pick up.
different men in the front rows, two
are different props for France and
one for Scotland, Jamie Bhatti on
the loosehead so how will that
change the dynamic of the scrum?
Pretty even so far. Scotland just
moving forward a little bit and they
have the penalty so a free attack.
Laidlaw but it refer the chase but
they will come back for the penalty.
A lot of these French props got
their first caps last week, Gomes Sa
against Ireland, they are big men
and powerful scrummagers but that
was a massive penalty for Scotland.
It will be a shot at goal, a little
further out but right in the centre
of the field again and a chance for
Scotland to draw level. Such a tense
match now. You have all the free
entertaining stuff in the first half
and then people realise it matters
quite a bit!
It almost looks like a
first half and then the second half
and it is down to the pressure,
Scotland needing to win after last
week and France only winning five
out of their last 20 with 14 losses
and a draw. The nerves and pressure,
especially in the condensed format
of the Six Nations, kicked in at
this state and it is the
-- at this stage. The penalty count
is going against France now. Let's
see if Scotland can capitalise.
rarely fails and Laidlaw brings
Scotland level. 16 minutes to go at
Murrayfield and nothing in it
between Scotland and France.
feel Scotland have a great
opportunity, they just had to be
solid, their set piece as to be
solid, scrum and line-out, when they
are in their own half they have to
get out sensibly and not play the
ball too much. France will give them
opportunities. If they can get the
ball and the French half, France
will give them penalties and
Finn Russell and John
Barclay coming off so I imagine Pete
Horne is going to fly half. Ali
Price is on. Laidlaw can play fly
half. A knock-on from Linard
Beauxis! The frustration and a howl
into the Murrayfield evening. His
mistake met by a roar from himself
and the Murrayfield crowd.
doesn't he? Never nice to see
anyone. He has played well. He has
put a different game to what you
would imagine but that was a basic
error and pressure building again in
the last quarter.
Talking about the
change of fly half 11 of Greig
Laidlaw's first 13 caps came at fly
He gives a lot of control.
Maybe a note about what Paul said,
getting to territory and winning
penalties and converting them and
Secure from the
scrum and Price feeds onto Horne
full sub Hogg of the outside of the
boot. The mark is called by
Doumayrou and that's not the right
option as Doumayrou comes away with
possession given up by Scotland.
Serin De Gendt looking to feedback
but under pressure and Beauxis slips
it away! Palis get it away but only
to Ryan Wilson. France now beginning
to unravel a little bit. Price
looking for it and feeding it onto
Toolis. Driving forward on the back
of a wave of noise and Denton is on
the field as well carrying Scotland
to within 15 metres. Crash ball
again and it is Jones but France
read it this time and bring him
down. Carried in by Maccarinelli
this time, France trying to hold it
up and they might have done well
here. France I think we'll get the
scrum and they do, good work by the
The French turned
that tackle into a more so they
don't have to release when it goes
to ground -- into a maul. Scotland
do not have do pull a rabbit out of
the hat, France are doing to do it
for them. One of the things you
spoke about before the game, this
was good, disciplined pressure on
You're got to giggle,
his previous touch was a knock-on
and then he juggled the first one
and thought, I wanted to throw it
out the back door.
Take it easy,
Lionel! The crowd are enjoying it
and the game is tied up with 13
minutes to go, great drama at
One thing to worry
about for Scotland was the scrum but
beats of situations, it has been
good all day but they have worked in
their favour -- the substitutions.
They don't need to give away
penalties, just disciplined exit
Dave Denton came on rather
unannounced, back in a team for the
first time in a couple of years and
he made a big hit on Serin feeding
it back which led to the mistake
from Beauxis and Denton brings a
certain amount of dynamism and
And a big carrier as well,
especially at tired French defenders
who might get loose.
off he is a good addition to carry
It is French ball about
six or seven metres from the own
line. Serin with the feed.
He has bought an extra five or six
yards for the clearing kick. He does
have a big boot. That is a wonderful
clearing kick from Lionel Beauxis.
thought the French may be went off
their feet there, but that is on his
own goal line under all sorts of
Quickly taken and Scotland
have done the right thing by not
giving France time. France are
looking to slow things down now.
Scotland getting back to where they
Go through the phases and perhaps
wait for something to be given to
Huw Jones away again. Again driving
into the 22.
The French players are breathing
hard in defence now and Scotland is
trying to get that ball back.
Some width on it now for Scotland.
Advantage says John Lacey. A penalty
is coming for Scotland. They want
more than three points now. They
will take the penalty, but they are
getting closer. They will come back
for that penalty.
It is pressure
building, Paul, from the Scots. It
almost looks as if the French are
playing and defending as
individuals. They have got huge
commitment and character but they
are not working within the
One thing you do not want
to show is weakness. There are a lot
of French players with their hands
on their knees, bent over, not
talking to each other and
encouraging each other. I know I am
banging the same drum, but they will
give you opportunities. This is the
line-out that Scotland has been
doing. They play it as quick as they
can and it is a simple play. Peter
Horne just puts his head down and
That was the offside. They
gave away the penalty. Ten minutes
to go and Gregor Townsend still
busying himself. But Greg Laidlaw
has a chance to move Scotland in
France for the first time in this
It was not an easy one but it goes
through and Scotland are in front.
It has taken them 70 minutes, but
The French are going to
give you opportunities and
penalties. He is now seven out of
seven and that is massive for team.
You wonder with Finn Russell
kicking, you wonder if Greg Laidlaw
had taken over, that he is so
reliable. A change at fly-half for
Vahaamahina has been replaced. There
was nobody there to take it.
was nobody there to take it. France
looking to build a position.
There was a spill and it went
forward. Yes, says the referee, but
Scotland have it anyway. A scrum
advantage. He sees Stuart Hogg
wandering around and no advantage
Good defence from Scotland.
They keep coming forward. That was a
bad pass by Fall.
Stuart Hogg did
not want to kick, but as soon as you
kick, you kick away your scrum
advantage. Quite sensible play there
as well. You do not want to invite
any counterattack opportunity,
especially from the French.
play from Stuart Hogg to not lose
the advantage for the team.
The clock ticks away, but Scotland
are not safe yet. But they have the
momentum. Again a lot of different
personnel in the scrum. France would
have expected to have the edge in
this gram, but they have not had
that today, it has been pretty even.
In the scrum.
The France defence keeping Scotland
back. But again it was an illegal
manoeuvre from France and a penalty
to Scotland. France are making bit
easier Scotland now.
It is a
sensible attack well managed, not
trying to much, keeping it fairly
close in the wide channels as well.
It is a mature end to the game for
I am sure Gregor Townsend
would love them to be playing more
freely and openly, but sometimes you
have to just take the obvious
opportunities the opposition are
giving it. A super kick from Stuart
It is deep inside the French
22 and now you start to think of the
minutes to go rather than the
minutes passed. Scotland can take a
big step towards victory here if
they can find another score. France
has conceded seven penalties.
That went to Ben Toolis. It is held
by Stuart McInally, the hooker, and
Scotland are beginning to creep
forward. With every inch gained, the
noise will grow inside Murrayfield.
The referee is telling them to use
it. A penalty advantage to Scotland.
No time for the advantage.
see it was difficult for him to get
out of there. To put yourself in
there in the first place and you put
yourself at risk of the penalty.
Denton has got involved in
absolutely everything. A
conversation between Greg Laidlaw
and Stuart Hogg. There is no other
decision than to take the
opportunity to kick for three. What
you spoke about in the first half,
Paul, was working a bit harder in
contact on the ground so the French
players could not get in and over
Sometimes you can be
isolated. But sometimes you have to
find a solution and buy some time.
It was also good play by Denton
because the malt got a bit messy and
the referee asked them to use it and
they were in danger of getting
turned over, so Denton took off from
the back. Ideally you would love to
get the penalty off the malt, but at
least you still have the ball from
five or six metres.
Once again, all
eyes turned towards Greg Laidlaw.
All those tries in the first half,
four, and it has all been penalties
in the second half. Now Scotland
lead at Murrayfield.
It has been a
nervous second half, but Scotland
settled down into it. They figured
out France would give them plenty of
That was like a
sevens restart, hanging on the ten
That was a wonderful take a
full-back and stumble.
Three minutes to go, and still an
opportunity for France, no doubt
about that. The penalty was there.
France have the advantage, knowing
they might be putting this into the
They will come back for it. Just
over two minutes remaining and six
points the difference and an
opportunity for Belleau to put it
into the corner.
Some poor tackling
technique put Denton on the wrong
side. He did everything he could to
get out of it.
A lot still to
decide, but the man of the match is?
To be honest it is Greg Laidlaw. He
has won 600 points for his country.
He has taken over the captaincy, he
has controlled the team. Thomas had
two outstanding tries, but the man
of the match is Greg Laidlaw.
Brought down by the blues, so no
penalty and Scotland have the scrum.
Good defensive work by the home
side. Just a minute to go to see out
victory over France.
France had to
win it at the front, it is probably
the easiest ball in terms of defence
to win. Stuart McInally does a great
job. He stopped the malt. An
absolutely huge moment.
You have to
have courage as well. All the
technical stuff, but you know it is
about working hard.
It is making
them win the ball at the front and
then it is mindset, putting your
head down and working hard.
Scotland will try to seek out this
clock. France are desperate for a
win in their wilderness today. For a
long time it looked as if they
might. France has to put everything
into this scrum to challenge the
Scottish ball. Ali Price. Scotland
crumble. The ball is out and picked
up by Ryan Wilson. Seconds
remaining. They cannot yet kick it
out. France try and turn it over. A
penalty to Scotland and the win will
be bears. The clock goes red. It is
time to see it out says Greg
Laidlaw. The fans are already
They have to tap the
ball first before they kick it out.
No need for the line-out. The
victory goes to Scotland. It was
entertaining with some tries in the
first half, but in the second half
this was a win of character for
Scotland to come back after that
something in Cardiff and they have
their first win in the six Nations.
An excellent win. It was almost back
to front with all the glamour in the
first half. But Greg Laidlaw got all
the penalties in the second half.
Scotland have answered all the
questions asked of them after the
defeat in Cardiff.
Both teams were
their worst enemy at times, but
Scotland were the wiser team.
They just played penalty rugby and
let France shoot themselves in the
foot and that is a really big win.
To come back from where they were
last week, that is a really big win.
France lead at half-time, but
Scotland lead at full-time and they
win by 32-26.
Wiser and smarter and only the third
time that Scotland have ever beaten
France in the six Nations. Andy
Nichol, all is well that ends well.
Absolutely, it was the reaction to
last week's game in Cardiff. There
is a lot to work on, but that is so
important for the development of
this team to get that point
immediately after all the
allegations last week.
And the man
of the match not surprisingly is
down on the pitch.
Read Laidlaw, what a great win for
Scotland. It was tight at times,
particularly after the first half.
We knew it was going to be tight.
Sum up the emotions. It is hard to
describe, it is unbelievable. It was
not pretty at times, but that is
rugby. You have got to respect the
French, it was an incredibly tight
match. I am proud of the whole team
and they dug in deep in the end and
the forward pack were great in
Was there more passion
today after such a long lay-off. It
was against France where you got
injured last year. This is your
first start, it is hard to believe
I am not great that watching it
to be honest. I am sure my wife will
tell you that. It is great to get
back on the pitch playing in this
jersey in front of these people.
jersey in front of these people. Ali
came on and speeded the game up and
we closed it out.
England next. How
do you feel about that?
It has been
a few years since we turned them
over, so hopefully we can this time.
You are the man of the match.
bring in the vice captain. That was
a great performance, but it was so
tight throughout the whole match.
Yes, we made it hard. We got off to
a poor start. At half-time we were
six points down, but we were still
excited and we knew if we kept the
ball we would cause them problems.
Every time they got the ball in the
second half, we came away with
points. We were more accurate than
last week, that we are still not
How much pressure was there
on this side after last week?
are only five games and if you lose
your first one and you are serious
about doing something in the
competition, the maths is simple. We
knew we had to put together a good
performance after last week. We get
a week off now and we can build
You must be pleased
that these were well worked,
patient, team tries.
That is what we
have been doing in the last 18
months, holding onto the ball,
making sure the team works hard,
that is how we train. It did not
come off in Wales, but it has come
Well done. Thank you very
much. As dusk descends, this is how
it looks at the end of the second
France play Italy the next time
around in Marseille. Let's get a
French perspective on this. How
disappointed are you after the hope
I am disappointed a
lot. I was very excited after the
first half. I thought the French
team would be able to maintain the
speed and the tempo to match in the
second half. Of course,
second half. Of course, the top team
is not prepared to play at that
tempo. We can play 40 minutes at a
good level, but the second half was
too difficult for us. We were very
tired and it gave the Scottish team
a lot of penalties. In these
conditions it was not possible to
win this match.
John Barclay is
about to receive the Auld Alliance
Trophy. It is the first time that
has been played for. It is being
contested for the first time to mark
the 52 French and Scottish
internationals who died in action
during the First World War and the
two captains of the last match
before the conflict, Eric Milroy and
Marcel Bergin, I named on that
trophy. It is a lovely, poignant and
tragic story about Eric Milroy. His
mother hated them playing rugby and
told him to look after himself and
hang around at the back and not get
involved in trouble. In his last
letter home before he died in the
song he wrote, we are in some slight
trouble tomorrow, mother, I am
warning you, there will be no
keeping back. That was his last
letter home. His name is on that
trophy that John Barclay is
carrying. It is interesting when we
talk about French rugby and Olivier
was talking about it just now.
Playing at this level and this
intensity, we mentioned that France
253 tackles last against Ireland.
Today they had a relentless surge of
Scottish players coming towards
them. How do you not give away
penalties because mentally and
physically you are getting tired?
Sam? It is hard because Scotland
came out in the second half. When
you are in the attacking team, you
want to play against a team that is
tired. If you have a quick first
half, the second half does not have
to be that quick. Then you might hit
60 minutes and you might crash. The
first half took its toll on the
French boys and that is where they
gave away penalties. This is an
example of how penalties win test
matches. In the Six Nations you kick
three points and you win three games
and Greg Laidlaw kicked six in a
row. Every time they went near the
French 22, they came back with
It was not one fence, they
were all different offences, taking
the defender out way past the
contact, there was a variety and it
was that discipline. It was a
momentum that Scotland were able to
create in the last 15 minutes.
Exactly that. At 65 minutes with
Greg Laidlaw, he kicked it straight
at France and Beauxis missed it and
kicked it on. That was the turning
point for me. From then on Scotland
played with a lot more energy and
they saw the game out. That was the
turning point for me.
What do we
make generally about Greg Laidlaw
being moved to number ten. Is that a
massive snub to Finn Russell?
but I think it is a brave call by
Gregor Townsend. Looking at Greg
Laidlaw's interview I am not sure
how prepared that was. He said it
was a real surprise. That was a big
call. Finn Russell will come
bouncing back, he has got a
brilliant temperament. You get
setbacks playing in that position.
But I thought Greg Laidlaw and Peter
Horne were outstanding today.
delivered. How much was that
decision based on this match in the
end and the last 50 minutes was
about winning and that was all that
That is what it was all
about. Six Nations is all about
winning, you do not get points for
playing with flair. It is all about
winning and Scotland did that today.
I think we are going to hear from a
happy man, Gregor Townsend.
You are very happy man, aren't you?
Happier than last week.
you most about the performance?
resilience, the effort it takes to
win a test match is huge. When you
have to do it after being behind
most of the game that shows the
character in squad. Parts of the
game were not working for us in the
first half, a credit to France for
that. We improved those areas and we
were more direct and we got our
I said to John Barclay that
it was interesting to see it was not
just one person scoring tries, it
was very much team efforts. Is that
something you have been working on?
It is nice to score a try, but we
were up against a very good defence
and it takes a huge effort. In
amongst great defensive pressure as
well, France were excellent at the
breakdown. They did go off their
feet, and they were penalised, but
the willingness of all the carriers
in the team to get involved, Stuart
Hogg, and then you have got the
forwards who had a massive game at
set pieces and did very well. They
were willing carriers right to the
end of the game.
At which point did
the plan to move Greg Laidlaw at ten
happen? He sounded surprised?
mentioned during the week and he ran
a couple of plays dead this morning.
It was really seeing how he was. Ali
brings so much from the bench I
thought he would have the pace and
Greg's kicking was good. Keeping him
on and getting Ali onto the ball was
positive for the team.
give you some pleasant headaches
before the English match how Ali
played and how Greg played?
were much better this week and I
thought France was a very good team.
They would trouble any side in the
world and to get back into the game
and to be much more accurate than we
were last week was very pleasing.
You can get all the penalties in the
world, but you still have to kick
them and Greg Laidlaw has been
metronomic over the years. Not a lot
of them were straightforward.
done it so often for so many years
and it is the confidence. The team
knew, the fans knew, I knew, when he
stepped up he was always going to
knock them over. These are the ones
you expect an international kicker
to get over. But when the game is in
the last few minutes and you are
three points down and you are
chipping away, you have still got to
From a Welsh perspective
when we come to Murrayfield we say
we cannot give away penalties in our
hearts when Greg Laidlaw is playing
because he will convert them. That
is what France did not do. Greg
Laidlaw is a very high percentage
kicker in international rugby.
Leigh Halfpenny playing behind you,
you know if you get a penalty, you
have a chance of getting it over.
But last week against Ireland if
that simple penalty had been kicked
with three minutes to go, France
would have won the match.
very well and the first ten minutes
was awesome. But the second half was
terrible. This is the difference.
When you give the opposite team too
many penalties at the beginning of
the match you give them confidence
and you lose it. Honestly, again,
the players gave their best, but it
is not enough. You need more
discipline throughout the match.
After last week, and narrow defeat,
and today and narrow defeat, are you
encourage a little bit that the
French national team is going in the
right direction or not?
We have to
have a mix of both matches. We have
the commitment last week, but we
need to be more clever. At times we
do not need to give away too many
penalties. Hopefully next week I
hope we will realise and have a good
game against Italy in Marseille and
it is a good opportunity to get
confidence and to mix all of this.
You have asked me that question for
many years about Scotland when you
are on that losing streak. France
have Italy in two weeks' time. You
expect them to win and they will
start to build from that.
scrum half for Scotland against
Greg Laidlaw. Ali Price
came on and did what he was always
going to do, generate pace, just
when they needed it. Denton came off
the bench and made a real impact.
Read Laidlaw, 22 points, he
controlled everything from both nine
and ten. He is back to being very
important again for Scotland.
you were at Twickenham yesterday and
you have been here today. How would
you assess the key battle areas for
Scotland and England in a fortnight?
If I was Scotland, it will be one of
the best chances they have to beat
England in quite some time. People
were talking doom and gloom about
Scotland going into this game. But
beating France, certainly if you get
a good win against England next
week, the championship is on. John
Barclay said in his BBC column that
Wales lost their first game in 2013
against Ireland and we played poorly
and we came back to win the
championship. Just because you lose
the first game that does not mean
you are down and out. Scotland can
dust themselves off and get ready
for England and if they can win
that, the championship is open.
practical terms from what you saw at
Twickenham, how does Scotland target
You have got to take
penalties and that is why Greg
Laidlaw is important. Six Nations is
different when you play in the
southern hemisphere, and the games
are often won by three points. When
they are offered three, six, nine,
12, get the scoreboard ticking over.
Scotland played better set pieces
today and that allowed them to come
into the game more. If you have a
strong set piece and you can do well
at kicking, and there is room for
improvement for Scotland, then they
have a great dad.
Scotland like play
at Murrayfield and the game is here
at Murrayfield in two weeks' time.
It has been a great day at
Murrayfield, thank you very much.
Sam, in general terms, after the
first two weekends, which is the
best team at the moment?
good question. That is a brilliant
question, you have got me. A bit
like France, I think France played
well in practice, so there is plenty
for France to be optimistic about.
Thinking about it Ireland have been
the most clinical.
just sneak it. Thank you to one and
all. It has been absolutely bitter
here, but it has been a great game
especially from a Scottish
perspective. In two weeks' time it
is Scotland versus England. Need I
France is doing it once
more. Thomas, deja vu. And it is
Maitland for the try. And it bounces
for Teddy Thomas. Try number two for
France. And Huw Jones goes through
the gap under the post.