SCOTLAND’S Club XV gave it everything they had, but were defeated by a physical French side at Glasgow Hawks’ Old Anniesland ground last night.
The 30-3 win was the first time that France have won on Scottish soil at this level following home wins in 2010 and 2012.
Scotland were never outclassed, more outmuscled, but they can be proud of their efforts. For them Ewan McQuillin stuck in well at prop while stand-off Stuart Edwards was tidy and full-back Nyle Godsmark looked dangerous with ball in hand.
The result completes the representative side’s season, a 28-3 loss to Ireland in Cork last month the other score posted.
After stirring renditions of both national anthems France nearly got off to the perfect start when a good chip and gather by full-back Remi Lamarque set winger Pierre Lafitte off into space. Lafitte lost the ball, but it was hacked on by second-row Beniot Senac and he almost scored a try, only for Scotland scrum-half George Graham to get back and cut off the danger.
They did take the lead a minute later when stand-off Julien Lavie kicked a penalty.
Scotland tried to get a foothold in the game and by the tenth minute good breaks by Godsmark and centre Jack Steele gave them hope, but as the half-hour mark approached, although Scotland were still mixing it with the visitors, they were not making great inroads.
France then scored a well-worked try when a break by Lafitte created the space for Lavie who floated a cross-field kick which Lamarque collected well to dot down under the posts. Before Steele missed a penalty for Scotland, dropping it short of the posts, Gary Graham went off with a bad looking shoulder injury.
Lavie then added another penalty for the visitors and they were 13-0 up and Scotland, without playing badly, were on the back foot.
The stand-off then added his third penalty of the evening and, despite missing another, France were in control heading into the second half.
Scotland got off to a good start after the break and in the 48th minute they managed to open their account when Steele kicked a penalty.
Five minutes later Lavie missed his second penalty of the match before France threw away a simple try-scoring chance when replacement Arnaud Etchegaray passed the ball forward with the line at his mercy.
With 20 minutes to go the visitors added their second converted try, second-row Anthony Potente eventually powering over after a couple of phases. In the last ten minutes replacements Struan Cessford and Renaud Palomera were both sin-binned and then the French scored a final try through replacement Fabien Dupuy.
In the dying seconds Scotland centre Chris Auld and France replacement Kevin Kahn were red-carded after a brawl, ending things on a sour note.
Scorers: Scotland Club XV: Pen: Steele. France Fédérale: Tries: Lamarque, Potente, Dupuy.
Pens: Lavie 3. Cons: Lavie 2, Lamarque
Scotland Club XV: N Godsmark; E Oag, C Auld, J Steele, C Gossman; S Edwards, George Graham, R Sutherland, F Scott, E McQuillin, C Borthwick, M Douglas, A Nagle, J Hill, W Bordill. Subs used: L Gibson N Little, S Cessford, C Templeton, Gary Graham, P Jericevich, R Mill, G Somerville.
France Federale: R Lamarque; P Lafitte, J Rouge, J-B Lafitte, S Bonvalot; J Lavie, P Dubert; A Nicolas, R Lauga, A Attia, B Senac, A Potente, G Geledan, L Bezert, J Capdeillayre. Subs used: R Palomera, F Dupuy, K Kahn, J-B Cros, J-F Cruzalebes, H Dupont, R-E Samuel, A Etchegaray.