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Six Nations Championship

Missed kicks costly against fast-flowing French

Hogg try

Hogg scores for Scotland

France 22  Scotland 16 (half-time 13-11)

Scotland forfeited the opportunity of a first victory in Paris since 1999 after missing three kicks and resisting waves of French attacks.

Two penalties by the home side broke the second half deadlock after Tim Swinson’s try brought the score level at 16-16.

They proved the difference in the teams after a bruising encounter and despite two tries from the Scots who came up short in the final ten minutes. They will leave with a losing bonus point but without the result they coveted.

Camille Lopez gave the hosts a 22-16 victory after his team were denied a try when Lamerat was judged to have lost control of the ball as he crossed the line.

Scotland failed to make the most of their opportunities. Stuart Hogg’s penalty on 55 minutes from just inside the Scotland half was well wide of the left post.

It followed a missed first half kick by Greig Laidlaw, who went off through injury in the first half, and Finn Russell in the second period who fluffed a conversion in front of the posts.

Scotland began the second half strongly and some fine work on the right involving Tommy Seymour and Tim Swinson saw them take the lead as Swinson scored a try between the posts.

Swinson had come on for John Hardie who replaced John Barclay for the second period but was immediately involved in a clash of heads with Goujon.

Russell had an opportunity to extend the Scots lead but his hastily taken kick went below the bar and a French penalty drew the sides level at 16-16.

The match was brought to life early after a penalty gave the home side the lead only for Hogg to put Scotland ahead with a try on 16 minutes. It was his fifth try in his last four Six Nations games.

But Laidlaw’s kick from 43 metres bounced back off the bar.

France immediately hit back with a penalty to regain the lead at 6-5. A penalty was reversed for a Scotland offence but Lopez’s kick hit the post.

The French came forward in waves of attacks and Fickou’s try which he also converted extended their lead.

Scotland pushed to within a couple of yards of the line but had to settle for the earlier award of a penalty. Russell kicked in the absence of Laidlaw, withdrawn through injury and replaced by Ali Price.

A second penalty kick by Russell drew Scotland to within two points of the hosts before the break.

France: Spedding; Nakaitaci, Lamerat, Fickou, Vakatawa; Lopez, Serin; Baille, Guirado, Atonio, Vahaamahina, Maestri, Goujon, Gourdon, Picamoles. Replacements: Tolofua, Slimani, Chiocci, Le Devedec, Chouly, Machenaud, Doussain, Huget.

Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Jones, Dunbar, Seymour; Russell, Laidlaw; Dell, Brown, Fagerson, R. Gray, J. Gray, Barclay, Watson, Strauss. Replacements: Ford, Reid, Berghan, Swinson, Hardie, Price, Weir, Bennett.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

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