AAfter England’s dominant 18-7 win over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday, you don’t need to wear rose-red-tinted specs to claim Eddie Jones’ side are currently the best in the world. BUT this match features two teams also up.
The French, who some would say (understandably, given their impressive win over England in February) were the best team in the Six Nations, are looking very good at the coming side in the Northern Hemisphere. In Antoine Dupont in scrum half, they have the best player of the Six Nations of this year and through the XV, they are class. In addition to the wonderful Dupont, they have Romain Ntamack and Virimi Vakatawa on the back, and in the peloton they can call on Charles Ollivon and Gregory Alldritt at the back, to name just four.
Alas, today they will be without Ntamack – the half-butterfly did not make it to Edinburgh due to a thigh injury. In his place, Matthieu Jalibert from Bordeaux takes the start – the n ° 10 is only 22 years old, an illustration of the youth of the XV and of the French starting team.
The Scots have very quietly changed their approach and stall, much the same way the French have done this year. They’ve won five games on the rebound and should they make six at Murrayfield today, that will be their longest streak since 1990.
The answer to how they did this is pretty straightforward and not overly entertaining: defense.