Ali Price offers upbeat verdict on Scotland's narrow loss to France

Ali Price believes Scotland are still on an upward trajectory despite Sunday’s defeat by France.

Scrum-half Ali Price feels Scotland have tightened up defensively. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

The 22-15 loss at BT Murrayfield brought to an end the home side’s winning run which had stretched to five matches. It also reduces considerably Scotland’s chances of reaching the final of the Autumn Nations Cup.

France are now in the box seat to win Group B of the new tournament, with England expected to win Group A.

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Unless Italy beat France in the final pool match this weekend, Scotland will finish second and will likely meet Ireland in Dublin in the third-place play-off on 5 December.

Price feels the Scots have come on leaps and bounds defensively and are a far harder team to beat than they were last year.

“I think we’re making strides,” said the scrum-half. “France came here as probably one of the in-form sides in the world. And yeah, we’ve come up short. But again it’s within a score, in a game where we certainly had chances to get back level, if not go ahead at times.

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“The work we’ve done on and off the field as a team, defensively as well, is leading the way.

“I think, in years gone by, when we conceded that try in the 43rd minute, potentially that could have snowballed – and we’d be looking at a 15 or 20-point deficit.

“And that’s not the case any more. We’re right in these games against the top teams, pushing to win them. We’re disappointed we didn’t.”

The match hinged on Virimi Vakatawa’s try early in the second half which came from an impressive French backs move from a scrum which seemed to catch Scotland cold.

“It was clever play,” acknowledged Price who admitted he “over-read” the situation.

“I read the same play in the first half and did my role well. I just over-read off the back of that scrum and it was smart by France to attack that link between our 10 and the scrum. I just over-read it.

“I’m still learning every time I go out there.”

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