Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 March 2018

France despair at indiscipline as Greig Laidlaw kicks Scotland to victory in Six Nations clash

Home side come from six points down at half time to beat the French 32-26 at Murrayfield.

Greig Laidlaw, centre, celebrates with his Scotland teammates after they beat France in the Six Nations. Lee Smith / Action Images via Reuters
Greig Laidlaw, centre, celebrates with his Scotland teammates after they beat France in the Six Nations. Lee Smith / Action Images via Reuters

France captain Guilhem Guirado said that his side will not win a game in the Six Nations if they do not show more discipline after a 32-26 defeat by Scotland at Murrayfield yesterday.

France made a good start with wing Teddy Thomas scoring two splendid tries and led by six points at half time, but were sanctioned numerous times after the break, Greig Laidlaw slotting home the six penalties he attempted for Scotland.

The French lost 15-13 to Ireland in last weekend’s opener in Paris where they also paid dearly for their lack of discipline.

“It was worse this time,” Guirado said. “As long as we don’t show more discipline, we won’t win a match. But to be disciplined you have to be confident.”

France have not won in their last eight outings.

“We must respect the rules otherwise we won’t make it,” Guirado said. “We’re always under tremendous pressure and after two defeats in a row the game against Italy will be more than welcome to bounce back.”


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France are fifth in the standings with two points with their next opponents Italy on zero after they also lost their first two games.

“The championship is not over yet but we must stop losing games like this,” Guirado said.

Flyhalf Lionel Beauxis lamented: “We gave away too many points.”

Laidlaw was the hero for Scotland as he kicked 22 points to go along with tries from Sean Maitland and Huw Jones as they bounced back from last weekend’s galling loss to Wales. Gregor Townsend, the Scotland coach, was pleased with his side’s resolve as they came back from being 20-14 down at the interval to prevail.

“Happier than last week that’s for sure,” he told the BBC.

“The effort it takes to win a Test match is huge and doing it from behind shows the character in the squad.

“We were a bit more direct in the second half and we got our reward. France were excellent at the breakdown, at times they did go off their feet and they got penalised.

“Our forwards had such a massive game in the set piece and did so well, but they were still carrying.”

Scrum-half Laidlaw was moved to fly-half during periods of the second half and Townsend acknowledged that was a tactical change they had planned in the build-up to the match.

“It was mentioned during the week and we ran a couple of plays this morning. It was really seeing how Greig was.”

Scotland captain John Barclay echoed Townsend’s thoughts that it had been important for he and his teammates to hit back after their dismal display in Cardiff.

“We made it hard on ourselves, we got off to a poor start but at half-time we knew if we held the ball we would cause them trouble. We were a lot more accurate than last week but still not quite there,” he said.

“If you lose the first match, and are serious about the competition the maths is simple. We knew we had to put in a performance after last week.”

Scotland host defending champions England next on February 24.