France woes continue with Scotland defeat

by AAP

A perfect kicking performance from Greig Laidlaw has seen Scotland register their first win of the Six Nations with a hard-fought 32-26 victory over France at Murrayfield.

All the tries came in the first half with France going in at the break 20-14 in front thanks to two tries from Teddy Thomas but Scotland responded through Sean Maitland and Huw Jones.

The second half was a much less fluid affair with Scotland sealing a deserved win thanks to six Laidlaw penalties.

"It wasn't pretty at times but that's international rugby," man of the match Laidlaw told the BBC.

"I am so, so proud of this team. We really dug in at the end and the forward pack in particular."

France fell just short against Scotland. Photo: Getty ImagesWith two rounds played, Ireland top the table on points difference with nine points after an eight-try hammering of Italy Saturday, level with England who defeated Wales at Twickenham.

Wales sit third on six points, followed by Scotland on four and France with two points. Italy have no points.

Both sides went into the encounter at Murrayfield looking to bounce back from opening round defeats and it was France who struck first in the third minute when Thomas evaded Finn Russell just inside the Scottish half before racing 50 metres to score under the posts.

Maxime Machenaud slotted the simple conversion and France moved 10 points clear on 10 minutes through a Machenaud penalty after Scotland were penalised in the scrum.

Scotland hit back three minutes later when Russell fed Maitland to touch down in the corner with Laidlaw managing the difficult conversion.

However, Thomas undid the Scottish defence again after 27 minutes with another piece of magic when the winger chipped forward and took advantage of an awkward bounce that deceived Laidlaw to collect and score under the posts, leaving Machenaud with the simplest of kicks.

Scotland again responded quickly with Jones breaking the French defensive line at pace before scoring under the posts.

Laidlaw again slotted the extras but another Machenaud penalty with the last kick of the half saw France go into the break leading 20-14.

Laidlaw and Baptiste Serin exchanged two penalties as France went into the final quarter still six points in front but indiscipline from the visitors gave Laidlaw two kickable penalties in three minutes to move the sides level before he landed a further two.


Scotland 32

Tries: Maitland, Jones

Cons: Laidlaw 2

Pens: Laidlaw 6

France 26

Tries: Thomas

Cons: Machenaud 2

Pens: Machenaud 2, Serin 2