France 27-10 Scotland: More away misery for Scots after defeat in Paris
By Simon Mail
Last Updated: 23/02/19 5:20pm
France clinched their first victory of the Six Nations campaign after a 27-10 bonus point win at home to Scotland on Saturday.
It is 20 years since Scotland last won in Paris and it was another tale of disappointment for Gregor Townsend's side after falling to back-to-back defeats in the competition.
Romain Ntamack opened the scoring with his first try for France to reward their early dominance. Two first-half tries were ruled out for a knock on which meant the hosts' lead was limited to 10-3 at half-time.
Yoann Huget finished off an attack at the start of the second half to strengthen France's grip on the contest.
Jacques Brunel's side scored another try in the last five minutes when the forwards drove over the line and replacement Gregory Alldritt grounded the ball.
Scotland scored a late consolation, with Peter Horne offloading to Ali Price for the converted try, but France sealed the bonus point with the last play after Alldritt scored again.
The home side were denied an early breakthrough after Damian Penaud crossed the line because Antoine Dupont was ruled to have knocked the ball on in the buildup to the try.
France would not be denied though and a brilliant counter-attack led by Thomas Ramos ripped apart the Scotland defence with Ntamack finishing off the move. Ramos added the conversion.
More pressure from Brunel's side resulted in a penalty which Ramos fired over to extend their lead.
It took more than 20 minutes for Scotland to mount their first attack with France conceding a penalty but the chance was spurned after Greig Laidlaw's kick struck the post.
Another penalty within minutes enabled Laidlaw to get Scotland off the mark and after another indiscretion Huget was given a yellow card for playing the ball on the ground.
France were denied a second try after 30 minutes when Gael Fickou raced through to score but a knock on from Wenceslas Lauret resulted in the effort being ruled out out to limit their lead to just seven points at the break.
The hosts made the ideal start to the second half with Dupont setting up Huget for another try. Ramos' conversion attempt rebounded off the woodwork.
France were denied another try after Fickou came into ground the ball but Jamie Ritchie managed to touch it down before the centre came in.
It did not deter them though and the home side powered over with replacement Aldritt grounding the ball.
Scotland responded through replacement Price after finishing off an incisive counter-attack but France had the final say with Alldritt's second try securing their bonus point victory.
Scotland had the chance to apply pressure with an extra man in the first half after Huget was given a yellow card.
It was a big chance for the visitors to get points on the board and take the initiative but they failed to make inroads on the scoreline and France remained in control of the match.
Ramos was exceptional at times during the victory. The full-back showed superb footwork to start the attack for France's opening try and he then offloaded the ball for Ntamack to score.
The Toulouse back was a major threat, particularly in the first half, as his pace and movement instigated France's best attacks.
France made four clean breaks in the first 15 minutes of the match and only a knock on stopped them from building a bigger first-half lead.
Dupont also made a big impression for the home side with the scrum-half heavily involved in their attack.
Scotland were sluggish in the first half and a series of errors stalled their progress. Gregor Townsend's side could not build any momentum and their few attacks broke down.
It did not get much better after the break either as the visitors failed to make their greater possession count until Price's late try.
Admittedly Scotland were missing a cluster of influential players including Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.
But their travel sickness shows no signs of improving and it is now 18 defeats in their last 21 away matches in the Six Nations.