Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Scotland vs France, Six Nations 2018

Scotland vs France, Six Nations 2018

Laidlaw, who was replaced as captain permanently at the start of the year by John Barclay after almost seven years at the helm, will win his 60th cap for his country and will attempt to get a re-jigged back line firing on all cylinders after failing to live up to their attacking reputation on the opening weekend. Thomas beat three defenders easily down the left to score a sensational individual try.

Having been criticised for their insistence on going wide against Wales, Scotland showed they are capable of bludgeoning right up the middle as Jonny Gray sat Machenaud down with a shuddering shoulder barge. Maxime Machenaud slotted the penalty and France were up 10-0 after just nine minutes.

However, the Scotland backs showed their talent with Maitland at the completing end of a well-worked try on the left side.

Gregor Townsend's side regrouped quickly, however, and responded with a try of their own when Sean Maitland went over in the corner following patient build-up.

Normal service resumed in the 26th minute as Thomas' impressive afternoon continued.

Remi Lamerat did the Racing 92 wing no favours by passing to his feet but even that did not stop Thomas as he handed off Finn Russell, side-stepped Peter Horne and then galloped past Stuart Hogg for the line. "We've seen a response from the players in training this week and that needs to continue into and through the 80-plus minutes of the match, because France will pose a massive and immensely physical challenge". Laidlaw found Huw Jones on the burst and the centre crossed after running a great angle.

Another Machenaud penalty ensured the visitors took a six point lead into the break. Les Bleus closed out the first half with another penalty to Machenaud, making it 20-14.

"We're always under tremendous pressure and after two defeats in a row the game against Italy will be more than welcome to bounce back". Scotland had all of the running and won another penalty in kickable-range in the 70th minute.

They never looked back.

Les Blues led for 64 minutes of the contest after two tries from winger Teddy Thomas, but Leidlaw, who switched to fly-half midway through the game, led the Scottish comeback with a series of late penalty kicks. It was their undoing and with five minutes left Laidlaw kicked yet another.

The hosts then pressed on, converting two more penalty kicks and securing their first win in this year's Six Nations. Scotland will now head to Twickenham energised after a morale-boosting win.

Brunel, who was in charge of his second France game since being appointed in December, remained optimistic, however.

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