Post-break comeback initiated by Darcy Graham sparks Scotland’s victory
Nations Series: Scotland v France
Scotland: (3) 25
Tries: Graham, Schoeman, Cherry Con: Russell (2) Pens: Russell (2)
France: (21) 21
Tries: Couilloud, Bielle-Biarrey, Woki Cons: Jalibert (3)
Despite Zander Fagerson’s red card, Scotland successfully overturned an 18-point deficit to defeat France.
France initially led the charge at Murrayfield, with Baptiste Couilloud, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Cameron Woki scoring, leading to a 21-3 advantage at halftime.
However, Scotland countered fiercely with Darcy Graham and Pierre Schoeman scoring tries, flanking Fagerson’s dismissal, and replacement player Dave Cherry adding to the tally.
The two teams will encounter each other again in St Etienne the following Saturday, marking the third out of Scotland’s four preparatory matches for the World Cup.
After securing a win over Italy last week with a secondary team, Gregor Townsend selected the strongest possible lineup for the clash with the World Cup hosts, with captain Jamie Ritchie being the only key player absent due to injury.
Celebrating his 70th cap, Russell led Scotland for the first time and initiated their score with an early penalty.
In the absence of their ace scrum-half Antoine Dupont, his substitute Couilloud concluded a striking counter-attack deep within French territory that breached Scotland’s defence for the opening try of the game.
Despite missing several key players, Les Bleus posed threats everywhere. The Scots found it challenging to contain the pace of the French offense, allowing Bielle-Biarrey to exploit an opening and score from the corner.
A lead of 14-3 already posed a difficult challenge for the hosts, and their situation worsened with Ben White’s injury, forcing him to retire from the game.
Scotland’s attack made little headway. Their possession was slow and the few opportunities they had were wasted. Poor line-outs contributed to a mostly comfortable afternoon for the French defence.
The visitors expanded their lead when Woki scored from close range. The hosts faced the risk of a severe psychological blow of a hefty home loss.
Scotland’s recovery began when Graham scored a try. Russell executed a perfect kick over the defence, and Graham’s expert dive into the dead-ball area ensured the score.
Fagerson’s red card following a dangerous clearout at a ruck dampened the momentum. But Schoeman powered through to add another try for the Scots.
However, the joy was short-lived as Fagerson’s dismissal was upgraded to a red card after a review by the television match official through the new ‘Bunker’ system.
Despite being down a player, Scotland managed to seize control of the game. A try by Blair Kinghorn was disallowed due to a knock-on by Graham. Nevertheless, the Scottish team continued their assault, with a rolling maul allowing Cherry to score and put Scotland in the lead for the first time since the game’s outset.
Russell’s successful penalty increased Scotland’s lead to four. A late attack by France was repelled by the Scots, with Rory Darge seizing a crucial turnover to secure the win.
Following a potential heavy loss, Scotland scored 22 unanswered points to secure a victory, providing a significant morale boost ahead of their challenging World Cup pool.
If the Scots can replicate their second-half performance in the tournament, they will prove a tough adversary for any team.
Scotland: Kinghorn, Graham, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe, Russell (captain), White; Schoeman, Ashman, Z Fagerson, Gray, Gilchrist, M Fagerson, Watson, Dempsey.
Replacements: Cherry, Bhatti, Nel, Cummings, Darge, Horne, Redpath, Smith.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Scotland vs France comeback
Who won the match between Scotland and France?
Scotland won the match against France with a score of 25-21.
What was the main event of the game?
The main event was Scotland’s stunning comeback from an 18-point deficit, even after Zander Fagerson was given a red card.
Who scored the tries for Scotland?
The tries for Scotland were scored by Darcy Graham, Pierre Schoeman, and Dave Cherry.
Who was the captain of the Scotland team?
The captain of the Scotland team was Finn Russell.
When and where will Scotland and France meet again?
Scotland and France will meet again in St Etienne on the following Saturday for the third of Scotland’s four World Cup warm-up matches.
Who was injured during the match?
Ben White of Scotland was injured and had to retire from the game.
What was the major turnaround for Scotland?
Scotland managed to seize control of the game despite being a man down. They scored 22 unanswered points to secure a victory.
What does this victory mean for Scotland?
This victory is a significant morale boost for Scotland ahead of their challenging World Cup pool. If they can replicate their second-half performance in the tournament, they will prove to be a tough adversary for any team.