ROSS Ford has revealed that Scotland were fired up to beat France for the first time in 10 years by cocky comments from their opponents’ press.
The hooker claimed the Scots were angered by claims from French journalists that their men would run over the top of the Scots at Murrayfield as they chased the RBS Six Nations title.
But in the end it was Les Bleus who had to take a backward step as Vern Cotter’s team produced a gritty display as they claimed their first victory over France since 2006 with a 29-18 triumph - while also handing the Championship crown to England.
Ford said: “There were a few things said in the French press about how they were going to come here and steamroller us.
“But that just worked in our favour. We knew we could compete with them and it just made us even more determined to go out and prove it.
“We had to fight at times for that victory but they never looked like they were going to run away with it. Once we got a foothold, we were the better team.”
The victory was Scotland’s first Six Nations win on home soil since beating Ireland back in February 2013.
But stand-off Peter Horne insisted the Scots had a point to prove after the team were criticised for failing to carry their impressive World Cup form into the early weeks of the tournament.
They suffered narrow defeats to England and Wales but are now sitting third in the table after back-to-back wins over Italy and the French.
He said: “There were a few disrespectful things from the French press that the coaches pinned up in the team room to get us going and it worked.
“We got really fired up. We knew they were going to come here and try to lay down their physicality.
“But our lads stepped up right from the first scrum and the first contacts. It was great. How many times did they have the ball in our 22 and we just smashed them back?
“It never looked like they were the side who had the dominant hand when it came to the physical stakes. That just sums up the pride we have in this jersey. We don’t want to take a backward step.
“Now we have followed up a good win in Italy with a great result over France. We’re all delighted as we haven’t won at home for such a long time.
“But we’ve managed it now and we’re now looking to go to Dublin next week and finish the tournament on a high.
“We knew that we were not a bad side. England and Wales aren’t exactly pushovers but nobody hurt more than us after losing those two games. But we also knew we were not far away and thankfully we’ve now proved that.”
Horne started on the bench but was forced to step into the fray just five minutes in after Finn Russell suffered a sickening head clash.
Cotter hopes his play-maker will be fit to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday but Horne - who marshalled his side with impressive poise - is not sure if he will be required again if Russell is ruled out.
He said: “We will wait and see what Vern decides. Duncy Weir is playing fantastic rugby for Glasgow at the moment so if the coaches go with him hopefully I’ll get on the bench again and do whatever I can when I get the chance to come on.”