Six Nations

France work the boot into Scotland in stale Paris win

The home side beat Scotland 22-16 at the Stade de France through five Camille Lopez penalties and a single converted try. Cavaliers @ Warriors live

0
France work the boot into Scotland in stale Paris win
BENOIT TESSIER REUTERS

France were heavily reliant on the boot of Camille Lopez to grind out a 22-16 home win against Scotland in the Six Nations at the Stade de France on Sunday.

Lopez accuracy

Fly-half Lopez kicked five penalties and converted Gael Fickou's try while Scotland's points came from tries by Stuart Hogg and Tim Swinson and a couple of Finn Russell penalties.

The visitors' hopes of a first win in Paris since 1999 were undermined when they lost scrum-half Greig Laidlaw to an injury in the first half.

Victory left France in fourth place with five points from two games, ahead of Scotland who bagged a bonus point for losing by less than seven points. France next travel to Ireland and Scotland will take on Wales.

Van der Westhuizen tribute

Before kickoff there was a minute of applause in memory of former South Africa international Joost van der Westhuizen, who died of a motor neurone disease on Monday.

France had shown a lot of attacking potential in narrow defeats to Australia and New Zealand last November and in a 19-16 loss to England last weekend.

But their failure to finish off some flowing moves was evident again against the Scots who arrived in bullish mood after a 27-22 defeat of Ireland last weekend.

Guy Noves's team went ahead thanks to Lopez's first penalty after Scotland went off their feet at the ruck.

Scotland responded when Hogg finished off a fine move on the right but their advantage was shortlived as Lopez kicked another penalty to give Les Bleus a 6-5 lead.

Laidlaw blow

Vern Cotter's side suffered a blow when Laidlaw had to be replaced by Ali Price after 25 minutes.

Lopez struck the upright with another penalty attempt before a long spell of French possession ended with Fickou touching down in the right corner and Lopez adding the extras from a tight angle.

Russell reduced the arrears to two points with two penalties shortly before the interval after France were sanctioned for foul play on the ground.

Scotland began to sense a victory when Tommy Seymour chipped the ball ahead and when France's Scott Spedding failed to gather it the winger released Swinson for Scotland's second try. Lopez made it 16-16 with a penalty.

The home side put Scotland on the back foot with strong ball-carrying runs but once again fell short as centre Remi Lamerat spilled the ball over the line.

Lopez, however, restored the advantage with a penalty and added another one three minutes from time to secure a tight win.