Scotland suffer Six Nations battering as France put in dominant Murrayfield showing

Scotland suffered more Six Nations heartache after being hit for six by France who maintained their Grand Slam ambitions in emphatic fashion.

A first win at Murrayfield for Les Bleus in this tournament came through a half dozen tries to leave Gregor Townsend ‘s side with the tag as also-rans after making it back-to-back losses after going down to Wales a fortnight ago.

It was another disappointing dose of reality for the dark blues who were torn apart by waves of French attacking brilliance and it’s now back to the drawing board with Italy next up in two weeks time.

Scotland’s tag as the most penalized side in the competition showed no sign of improving as they conceded a seventh minute penalty for holding on but Melvyn Jaminet inexplicably kicked wide from between the posts but two minutes later they put points on the board. It was a French try which displayed all of their attacking power, pace and flair as Paul Willemse finished off a flowing move for their first try and Jaminet this time made no mistake with the extras.

Finn Russell’s penalty moments later opened Scotland’s account but it was Les Bleus who once more surged forward and filled the home defense for a second try and again it was an awesome break which ended with Yoram Moefana bulldozing himself over in the corner but Jaminet was again wide with the conversion attempt.

Make no mistake, it was an exhibition of offloading of the highest order and Scotland were nine points behind to a side displaying confidence in all areas of their play.

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EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 26: Paul Willemse of France (5)celebrates with teammates scoring his sides first try during the Six Nations Rugby match between Scotland and France at BT Murrayfield Stadium on February 26, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A period of exerted Scottish pressure provided optimism of finding a way to breach a huge French pack and a thrilling 25th minute surge forward by Duhan van der Merwe almost sent him clear but he was dragged to the ground.

It finally paid off in the 29th minute just seconds after Ali Price was just short of touching down. Price was the architect as he fed Rory Darge who marked his first Scotland start with a superb try as he accelerated over the line and the deficit was down to two points as Russell banged over the conversion.

Murrayfield was lapping up a clash between two sides prepared to attack with ball in hand at every opportunity and the dark blues should have been ahead before the break as Van der Merwe broke superbly before offloading to Chris Harris who’s misplaced pass to Stuart Hogg saw the skipper fumble and what looked a certain try went to begging.

It would prove costly as France went further ahead seconds before the break as Gael Fickou held off a few tackles to dive over and Jaminet converted to give his side a 19-10 half-time advantage.

Things only got worse seconds after the restart as Jonathan Danty accepted a fortunate bounce to gather and score in the corner and Jaminet continued to turn the screw on Scotland with the conversion.

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Jaminet went wide with a 55th minute penalty as France continued to carry the threat as Murrayfield’s belief of turning the Test back in Scotland’s favor was being punctured by every wave of attack from the visitors.

A fifth French try arrived on the hour mark as another slick attack sent Damien Penaud in at the corner and Jaminet’s conversion came back off the woodwork.

More exhibition rugby brought a late sixth try for the superb French as Penaud grabbed his second of the day to inflict more pain on beleaguered Scotland who scored in the final moments through Van de Merve after Blair Kinghorn’s superb break and Hogg added the extras.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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