Player Ratings: Bouncing back
OPINION: Although France, last year’s Grand Slam winners, suffered a setback in their previous match against Ireland, they were eager to recover their form.
With an enforced change at tighthead prop, as Mohamed Haouas replaced suspended Uini Atonio, the French team was looking to overcome Scotland’s challenge.
The game looked to be done and dusted at 19-0 but Scotland fought back into it. A frantic game but France had enough in the tank to see it out.
15. Thomas Ramos – 7.5
Struck like a thief in the night to break Scottish hearts in the 19th minute after being gifted a five-pointer by a speculative Finn Russell pass. Was caught loafing covering back by Stuart Hogg, which gifted Scotland an attacking scrum on the five-metre line. Kicked well throughout.
14. Damian Penaud – 6
Drifted in and out of the game without quite cutting loose and had plenty to do in defence. Was looking to make things happen even if none of them quite paid off.
13. Gael Fickou – 8
Defended gamely against an in-form Scotland three-quarters line and had his hands full trying to contain Huw Jones, a feat that got away from him at times, but the Frenchman ultimately had the last laugh.
12. Yoel Moefana – 6
Another largely steady-neddy 80 minutes from Moefana. Failed to get a pass away when France had a possible break in the offing in what was a breathless first half and was unable to stop Finn Russell on the angle. Yet to bring his Bordeaux form to the Test arena.
11. Ethan Dumortier – 7.5
Made the most of some quick hands and thinking for France’s second. He must think this Test rugby stuff is dreadfully easy.
10. Romain Ntamack – 6.5
Scored France’s first but in truth it could have been one of about three players queuing outside him. With opposite number Finn Russell see-sawing between dangerously loose and utterly brilliantly moments in attack, Ntamack cut a more considered figure for the reigning champs.
9. Antoine Dupont – 7.5
A quiet first half by his own lofty standards and despite his best efforts wasn’t able to hold up Huw Jones early in the second. His tap tackle on Russell after he’d his kick chase, which led to a turnover for France, was a peak Dupont. A handful of visionary moments later in the game may have been the difference between the sides.
1. Cyril Baille – 7
Continues to mix mobility as a carrying option with an impeccable set-piece game.
2. Julian Marchand – 7
A fired-up Marchand carried hard in front of his home crowd and was part of a dominant French scrum.
3. Mohamed Haouas – 3
A brainless head-on-head contact with Ben White saw the hot-tempered Haouas sent off for an early shower. The end of his Six Nations and another black mark in an already jaded disciplinary record.
4. Thibaud Flament – 7
Continues to cement his role in Galthie’s team as a mobile and athletic option at lock who isn’t scared of a strong carry.
5. Paul Willemse – 6.5
A solid 50-minutes from the giant second row, who’s still in search of his best form after returning from injury.
6. Anthony Jelonch – NA
Statement made with an early doors hit on Duhan van der Merwe, although he was on receiving end of a huge and illegal shot from Grant Gilchrist, that saw him sent off, despite his protestations, by his own medic for a HIA. He didn’t return.
7. Charles Ollivon – 7.5
Thought he had scored just before halftime before it was ruled out. Imperious at the lineout. A return to form after a sub-par performance against Ireland in Dublin.
8. Gregory Alldritt – NA
Clearly wasn’t happy when he came off to make way for Haouas’ replacement Falatea.
Replacements – 7
A decent shift on what was a busy outing for the replacements bench. Tighthead Sipili Falatea was excellent after coming on early, while Romain Taofifenua got through a mountain of work. Francois Cros wasn’t quite at the races, while Matthieu Jailbert looked lively again.