Scotland 15-22 France: Virimi Vatakawa scores only one try of the match to boost the hopes of the Blues’ Autumn Nations Cup with Thomas Ramos also at Murrayfield
- France beat Scotland 22-15 on Sunday to boost their fall Nations Cup hopes
- Virimi Vatakawa scored the only try of the game early in the second period
- Duncan Weir and Thomas Ramos were involved in a Murrayfield kicking war
- Defeat ends Scotland’s unbeaten five-game streak after strong 2020
Scotland’s five-game unbeaten streak ended in a scrappy Nations Cup match that ended under bizarre circumstances.
In the last play of the game, Stuart Hogg had a simple kick in the corner to pin the French to their own line as they chased a converted try for the draw.
He became greedy and rather than finding the touch, he hit it long and above the French line. The visitors couldn’t believe their luck when the ball fell to death and referee Wayne Barnes blew the final whistle.
Virimi Vatakawa (left) scored the only try of the game as France beat Scotland 22-15 on Sunday
Fall Nations Cup loss ends Scotland’s five-game unbeaten streak
In a match strewn with errors, the French got the only try of the match thanks to Virimi Vakatawa with full-back Thomas Ramos who did well with his conversion and his penalties for a personal total of 14 points.
It was also good to see Matthieu Jalibert drop. Scotland barely created a chance with all of their points coming from Duncan Weir’s boot
Weir was in action right away and delivered a clear kick to touch in the first two minutes that would have settled his confidence.
France won the line-up and received a penalty in front of the post when Chris Harris was penalized for not rolling. Thomas Ramos opened the scoring with the kick with four minutes on the clock.
Duncan Weir (right) scored five penalties for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough at Murrayfield
France believed they extended their lead moments later, but referee Wayne Barnes, after consulting with TMO Ben Whitehouse, ruled that Blair Kinghorn got to the ball just before Virimi Vakatawa who claimed to have touched first. France did not come away empty-handed as Scotland were ruled offside, which gave Ramos the chance to take his second penalty.
It took Scotland thirteen minutes to get closer to the French line when they won a 22-meter line-up. They took the room from one side of the park to the other and then back to the center. When France moved away from offside, they gave a penalty that Duncan Weir handed out at the end of Scotland’s first attack.
The French indiscipline cost them again when Gregory Aldritt was sanctioned for not riding. After the first quarter of the game, Weir leveled things off with the resulting penalty.
Three minutes later, a nice break from Antoine Dupont divided the Scottish defense before the ball was replayed to Matthieu Jalibert whose goal was passed. Then it was Weir to show his ability with the boot to even the score with a penalty at 27 minutes.
Thomas Ramos also started his conversion and penalties well for a personal total of 14 points
From the restart, Matt Fagerson was penalized, which allowed Ramos to put the visitors back forward.
It took half an hour before the first scrum of the match Scotland won, but in the next game Weir lost the ball to return possession to the French.
Mistakes were coming quickly on both sides, with the worst coming from Blair Kinghorn who hit the ball behind the French line rather than run the ball when he had men to back it up.
Three minutes before the break, Weir handed a long-range penalty to tie the game as Scotland began to move more into the game. French hooker Camille Chat was fortunate enough not to receive a yellow card when he elbowed in a tackle on Jonny Gray.
Scotland were sloppy in their decision-making with Blair Kinghorn (middle) one of the culprits
In the last game of half-time, France thought they had scored a try but the referee ruled that their field was held over the line.
The visitors got off to a perfect start to the second half with a well-worked two-minute try. Dupont found Gael Fickou who was feeding Vincent Rattez who had come out of his wing.
He had Vakatawa on his shoulder and despite a great effort from Stuart Hogg to stop him he still managed to touch down, Ramos put the extras on. Weir reduced the deficit with a penalty with 46 minutes on the clock to reduce the deficit to four.
The Scottish defense were doing well to hold on as Dupont and Jalibert began to broadcast the game. In the old days, when they got a penalty in the Scottish side, they would have kicked the corner and gone for the try. Such was the proximity of the game, instead they took the penalty that Ramos inflicted.
Vatakawa moved up early in the second half for Murrayfield’s only try of the match
As the final ten minutes approached, the game was still on hold, with both sides making a series of changes as both players began to tire.
Need a new impetus in the attack, the center of the Saracens, Duncan Taylor, came to replace Sam Johnson. It almost had an immediate effect as he was involved in a move which saw a kick from Hogg grubber almost play into winger Duhan van der Merwe.
With five minutes later, Weir gave a penalty just in the French half. Ramos and his chance to kick him, but to kill time he gave a failed try. It was good management of the game by the French.
Scotland defended well, but their chances of a draw ended when Hogg failed to find contact in the final game of the match. He offered the game to the French who celebrated their victory in style.