Six Nations – Round 2 -Part 3

As play got underway in France the an early penalty  was awarded to Scotland at 00.32, although no points resulted.  After an entertaining first 3 minutes of play the first scrum was French, after gaining the ball and breaking away with high kick the ball was reclaimed by Scotland.  Soon after a penalty gave 3 points to France with 6 minutes on the clock.

Scotland continued to struggle to fight against the power in the scrum, having trouble feeding the ball in the right hand side.  Subsequent hard fought tackles resulted in Stuart Hogg scoring the first Scottish Try at 16 minutes but the conversion failed as it rebounded of the bar.  

The French side replied with a penalty at 19 minutes as the home side regained the lead. There was action of the wrong sort when a minor fight between players broke out at 26 minutes; occurring hen a Scottish player forcibly pushed an opponent who didn’t immediately release the ball for a penalty; several scuffles followed,  resulting in  a reversed penalty decision. Although, Scotland were spared as the French kicker hit the post.  

Scotland would have been disheartened as Laidlaw was taken off due to injury.  He was later to be seen on the side lines with a supportive cast and crutches.

At 30:30 a Try successfully converted by a French left footed kicker extended the French lead.  A further penalty saw Russell reclaim 3 points for Scotland and as a result of a collision John Barclay was taken off for a H.I.A.  Another penalty for Scotland saw the score at 13:11 at half time. 

Through out the first half Piccamoles had putting pressure on the Scottish side.  The Scots despite suffering the blow to the team of loosing Laidlaw early on the Scottish side had been playing with huge energy and desire.

A big collision just 24 seconds into the second half saw two more players off for a H.I.A. Shortly after Scotland were seen to take an unlikely lead; gaining advantage off the bounce of a rugged ball; set up by Seymour a perfect Try right under the posts by Tim Swinson Unexpectedly; Scotland’s Finn Russell failed to convert when the pushed for  time, the rushed conversion saw the ball almost rumble along the ground.

A Scottish penalty saw the score board  level at 46mins.  Lots of energy on the field continued from both sides, although, a lot of play was concentrated around the centre line.

 Great courage and defence from a tiring Scottish hold off a try but see a French scrum right under the posts.  Scottish defence prevented an initial try with a Scottish scrum to follow. The French penalised for not driving straight saw a reprieve for the Scottish side. A line out won but then poorly defended, this time saw Scotland penalised for not releasing giving Lopez an opportunity which was not wasted this time.  With just over 8 minutes left France were in the lead 19:16.   

A further penalty taken by Lopez 4 minutes later extended the lead, leaving a Scottish side who had not been frequenting the French Try line in the second half with a lot of work to do.  Scotland made ground, but the determination of a French side not wanting to loose at home was clear and saw the match end at 22-16. Scotland, who had not won in Paris since 1999 had not succeeded in changing that in 2017.

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