France took their opportunistic scores superbly in the opening half, but a resounding second period from the Scots proved to be too much for Jacques Brunel’s side.
Here are the player ratings (out of ten) for Gregor Townsend’s team.
1. Gordon Reid – 5
His apprehension when facing Rabah Slimani was evident from the very first scrum. Physical around the breakdown
2. Stuart McInally – 7
Threw his darts with confidence, backing his pack’s organisation. Provided stability to his props on either side at scrum time and secured a lot of ruck ball.
3. Simon Berghan – 7
Earned his side a penalty after a terrific turnover and seemed to be more comfortable against the opposing French front row.
4. Grant Gilchrist – 8
Far more imposing and capable than Ben Toolis, the man he replaced in the last week’s team.
5 . Jonny Gray – 8
His carry leading up to the Scotland’s opening try caused the entire French defence to halt. Tackled like a menace and looked physically able to compete.
6. John Barclay – 7
One great steal in the lineout and was aggressive in defence. Instilled confidence in his side, putting an emphasis on patience, having 80 minutes to win the game.
7. Hamish Watson – 7
Kept busy against Wales, Watson had a quiet game by his own standards overall, with a sparse involvement in attack and defence. Played the full 80 and proved his fitness with his busiest period coming in the final quarter.
8. Ryan Wilson – 6
How a man can go from being benched in the first round to vice captain for the side is puzzling. A far more capable option to lock down the scrum for Townsend’s side. Adds another lineout option too.
9. Greig Laidlaw – 7
Scotland missed his composure at the base of the ruck, from the tee and did very well to cover across for Teddy Thomas’ second try only for the bounce of the ball to undo the effort.
10. Finn Russell – 4
Guilty of being caught in two minds when attempting to tackle Thomas, unforgivable at the highest level. Two over-kicks one from open play and one from a penalty is inexcusable for a team looking to be taken seriously.
11. Sean Maitland – 7
Finished his try in the corner well and popped up in-field to capitalise on some disjointed French defending.
12. Peter Horne – 7
Provides Russell with a competent pair of hands on the outside and shoulders some of the responsibility.
13. Huw Jones – 8
Beautiful offload to Maitland in the narrow channel, a number of phases before he himself picked a try-scoring line.
14. Tommy Seymour – 5
Covered his own wing well in defence and covered a lot of ground tracking back from chased kicks. A victim of the traffic being sent to the opposite wing, but failed to link up in attack with Hogg or Maitland.
15. Stuart Hogg – 8
Forever dangerous in attack and plays at an urgency well and truly above his teammates. Strong in the air and discouraged the French from kicking even more.
France held their nerve brilliantly in the first half but ultimately could not deal with the sustained pressure applied by Scotland.
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