Skip to main content
Rugby

France in strong form after victory over Scotland 22-15 in Autumn Nations Cup

France's Virimi Vakatawa is tackled by Scotland's Christopher Harris during the Autumn Nations Cup rugby union international match between Scotland and France at the Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020.
France's Virimi Vakatawa is tackled by Scotland's Christopher Harris during the Autumn Nations Cup rugby union international match between Scotland and France at the Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. AP - Scott Heppell

Virimi Vakatawa scored the only try of the match as France beat Scotland 22-15 in an Autumn Nations Cup international at Murrayfield on Sunday. The win leaves them top of Pool B and in fine form to face Italy next weekend and on course for a place in the finals on 5 December.

Advertising

The victory saw France's national rugby team gain revenge for a 28-17 Six Nations loss to Scotland in Edinburgh in March -- Les Bleus' only defeat this year.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the traditional November international fixtures were not possible, so organisers came up with an alternative: the Autumn Nations Cup.

Blow by blow account

After the first half ended all square at 12-12, Virimi Vakatawa's well-worked try soon after the break saw France pull clear at 19-12.

France full-back Thomas Ramos kicked four penalties and a conversion, with Matthieu Jalibert's drop-goal their other score.

All of Scotland's points came from five Duncan Weir penalties.

France went ahead through Ramos' third-minute penalty.

Vakatawa was then denied a try from Gael Fickou's kick after he was ruled not to have controlled the ball.

France already had a penalty and Ramos made it 6-0 before French infringements allowed fly-half Weir to tie the game.

Drop-goal

But Jalibert, playing in place of injured first-choice fly-half Romain Ntamack, landed a well-taken drop-goal, an increasingly rare score in Test rugby.

A penalty exchange left France 12-9 ahead before more French indiscipline allowed Weir, from 42 metres, to land his fourth successful goal-kick.

France hooker Camille Chat was cleared of leading with the elbow and then helped his side win a scrum penalty which, at the urging of coach Fabien Galthie and with 40 minutes on the clock, they kicked for a line-out in the hope of a try rather than take the three points on offer.

But from an ensuing driving maul, France were held up over the try-line as the teams turned round level at 12-12.

France, however, did have a try just two minutes into the second half.

From a scrum, Vincent Rattez came off his wing to take an inside ball and burst clear.

Weir's fifth penalty

Rattez then found Vakatawa, who held off a despairing effort from Scotland captain Stuart Hogg, with the full-back unable to prevent the powerhouse centre from grounding the ball for a try converted by Ramos.

Weir, however, kept Scotland in the game with a fifth penalty.

France squandered a potential second try when Vakatawa cut inside rather than exploit an overlap before Fickou was held up short of the line.

But France's powerful rolling maul was proving increasingly difficult for Scotland to combat and it produced a penalty.

Ramos made it five from five from the tee and France were 22-15 ahead heading into the final quarter.

Scotland, however, botched a close range line-out but Ramos's long-range penalty six minutes from time fell short as a nervous France struggled to put the result beyond doubt.

With 80 minutes on the clock, Scotland still had a chance to draw level but Hogg, attempting to set up a Scotland line-out in the hope of an equalising converted try, kicked a penalty dead rather than into touch.

(with AFP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.