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Player Ratings: Scotland

OPINION: Scotland sorted out their slow start issues but were unable to deliver the 80-minute performance needed to overcome Les Bleus on home soil.

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The visitors made a blistering start, Kyle Steyn scoring inside the opening five minutes, but France took control thereafter as they scored 17 points.

Another fightback – including tries from Rory Darge, Duhan van der Merwe and a second from Steyn – looked to have secured a draw, but France’s power at the scrum secured a penalty, from which Thomas Ramos kicked the home side to victory.

Despite a first defeat of the warm-up series, Gregor Townsend and his coaches will have taken plenty from the performance as they prepare to name their final World Cup squad on Wednesday.

Gavin Harper rates the Scotland players:

15. Blair Kinghorn – 6.5
Started with a lovely ball to Steyn for his first try and a gallop up the midfield on the half-hour. Was guilty of overplaying in the first half, but not once Scotland levelled late on.

14. Kyle Steyn – 7
A lovely finish for his first try, and did so well to get on the end of Horne’s kick for the second. Was off his wing early on looking for work too.

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13. Huw Jones – 6.5
An excellent break before Van der Merwe scored and played a pivotal role in the lead-up to Scotland’s early score. Looked really dangerous when the game broke up.

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 6
Nice variety again with some soft hands adding to his power game. Didn’t quite get the change from the French defence he did a week ago, but still a decent outing.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 6.5
An enterprising start as he looked for work and caused problems, and another try for the big wing either side of some handling errors.

10. Finn Russell – 7.5
When Scotland tick, their talismanic flyhalf is usually at the heart of things. Showed lovely variety to set them en route to Steyn’s score, while Darge’s try was all about Russell’s creativity. A better tackler than most flyhalves.

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9. Ali Price – 5
Given another chance to rediscover his form with White injured an started well, but his yellow card brought a shift in momentum and was avoidable. Didn’t really get into the second half and hooked on 55 minutes.

1. Pierre Schoeman – 6
A spilled pass early in the second half was costly. Under a bit of pressure at the scrum early on, but held his own thereafter before making way for Sutherland.

2. George Turner – 6
Looks like Scotland’s first-choice hooker. Back in the side and helped the lineout function better than it did a week ago. Also won a turnover early on.

3. WP Nel – 6
The 37-year-old held his own at the scrum but didn’t have the impact around the field as he did during a cameo from the bench seven days ago.

4. Richie Gray – 5
One of Scotland’s best players of the Six Nations hasn’t quite found his best form this summer so far. Made two important lineout steals, but was otherwise pretty quiet.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 5
Not his usual direct carrying and gave away a couple of penalties – including the one from which Ntamack scored.

6. Jamie Ritchie – 6
Industrious as ever on his return to the side, and won a couple of good turnovers. However, he did concede a couple of penalties and didn’t seem to strike a great rapport with ref Nic Berry.

7. Rory Darge – 6.5
Such a threat at the breakdown and unlucky not to win a turnover under Scotland’s posts.

8. Jack Dempsey – 7.5
Another terrific outing from the off included three involvements in the build-up to Steyn’s try. A barnstorming carry off the second-half kick-off was undone by Schoeman’s drop.

Replacements

16. Stuart McInally – 6.5
Added impetus with a couple of excellent carries and some good handling. A late line-out malfunction cost Scotland territory.

17. Rory Sutherland – 5
Worked hard, but has fallen behind Jamie Bhatti in the pecking order and conceded the penalty from which France kicked the match-winning penalty.

18. Javan Sebastian – 6.5
Carried well and some nice touches after replacing Nel just before the hour.

19. Scott Cummings – 6
Route one carrying allowed Scotland front-foot ball in the final quarter.

20. Sam Skinner – 6.5
Terrific awareness to find Duhan van der Merwe for his try. Also a lovely offload in the run-up to Darge’s try.

21. Josh Bayliss – N/A
A late cameo and wasn’t able to affect the game.

22. George Horne – 7
Unlucky not to start but adds so much from the bench.

23. Ollie Smith – 6
A vital tackle to deny Villiere his only real involvement.

By Gavin Harper, @RugbyPass

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