Scotland 'going places' despite narrow Six Nations defeat in front of record-breaking crowd

France inflict defeat upon Scotland but Easson heartened by display

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson believes his charges are “definitely going places” after they pushed world number three side France all the way before losing out on Saturday.

The Scots went into the Guinness Women’s Six Nations round two clash at Hive Stadium in front of a tournament record 5,601 crowd looking to build on their opening triumph in Wales. They had not beaten France since 2010 and lost 55-0 last year, but off the back of a record seven wins in a row in all competitions and with a new high world ranking of six, they took the game to their visitors in Edinburgh. Scotland led 5-3 at the break and trailed just 8-5 until the 80th minute. A late second try for France gave them the win and denied Scotland a losing bonus point, but there is plenty to build on ahead of the visit of England on April 13.

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“The performance was really encouraging in so many ways,” Easson said. “Defensively we put our bodies on the line and our lineout defence was outstanding and put them under pressure, indeed I thought we pressurised them all the way. The way the team went about their business they deserved a losing bonus point at least, but it just wasn’t to be at the end. We are definitely going places, we are a team that's going in a really good direction. We have England up next and we will rest up the bodies and prepare for that one, but I am excited about where this team can go.”

Scotland's Evie Gallagher tries to break through the French rearguard.Scotland's Evie Gallagher tries to break through the French rearguard.
Scotland's Evie Gallagher tries to break through the French rearguard.

In the ninth minute, French No.8 Romane Ménager burst through the Scottish defence and nearly scored, but a tackle by full-back Meryl Smith hauled her down. France took the lead in the 13th minute when stand-off Lina Queyroi kicked a penalty. Four minutes later, her opposite number Helen Nelson, who kicked all her goals last week in Cardiff, had the chance to level the scores, but she missed a penalty.

At the end of the first quarter France looked like they were going to score the first try of the game, but, with the try lie beckoning, centre Nassira Kondé knocked on. In the 27th minute France were again on the attack, but Scotland’s defence was standing firm and they eventually held the visitors up over the try line. In the 33rd minute Scotland had their best attacking moment to date, a lineout catch and drive seeing them go close to a try. They did score three minutes later though, a similar move seeing hooker Elis Martin going over. Nelson could not convert and it was 5-3 at half-time.

France came out of the blocks flying after half-time and winger Rhona Lloyd had to make a try saving tackle on full-back Emilie Boulard. Replacement hooker Molly Wright of Scotland was then forced off less than a minute after coming on due to a head injury. After a lengthy stoppage, France scored an unconverted try straight away via winger Kelly Arbey and it was 8-5. Queyroi’s penalty effort on the hour mark then hit the upright and the game was still in the balance.

Scotland tried to find the energy to muster one last scoring attempt, but France replacement Emeline Gros scoring a try with the clock in the red which Queyroi converted as it finished 15-5.



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