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France 27-10 Scotland: Pain in Paris for second-best Scots

Les Bleus earn a bonus point as Gregor Townsend's side are soundly beaten in the Six Nations.

Slow starters Scotland were punished in Paris as France raced out of the blocks in either half to kill off their opponents' Six Nations dreams.

Tries from Romain Ntamack, Yoann Huget and Gregory Aldritt sustained Scotland's rotten record in the French capital as a mistakes hounded the dark blues.

Scotland started with plenty of ball but found a solid French defence in front of them.

When the hosts managed to strip the ball away after six minutes they quickly had men wide and attacked the stretched Scots before seeming to score in the corner through Damian Penaud.

To the relief of the dark blues, replays showed a knock-on in the build-up and the try was disallowed - much to the frustration of the noisy home support.

Les Bleus were playing with fire in their bellies but the Scots were bending without breaking until a moment of inspiration from full back Thomas Ramos.

The Toulouse back gathered a kick from Peter Horne and stepped into space before burning up the field, offloading to Antoine Dupont before the ball was recycled to Romain Ntamack to cross the whitewash.

It was the intense start that Scotland had predicted, and they needed to find an answer but their hands let them down again almost immediately and allowed a French counter-attack.

Sean Maitland did well to win a footrace with Yoann Huget in the backfield, but the Scots conceded a penalty under the posts as they infringed at the ruck. Ramos chipped through the goal to send his side 10-0 ahead.

They had hoped to weather the first 20 minutes and the passing of the opening quarter seemed to bring the Scots back in to the game. The pack did superbly to secure the ball after Horne was crunched inside the 22 and Scotland were awarded a penalty but Greig Laidlaw uncharacteristically miscued, striking the post.

More fluency was coming to the visitors now, and another venture into French territory this time allowed Laidlaw to add three points - and pass Gavin Hastings in the national team all-time points standings.

They continued on the front foot but after coughing up possession five metres from the try line France came again - but once more were denied a try when the TMO spotted Louis Picamoles's knock-on.

Handling errors dogged both sides as the half fizzled out with just one score between them.

Within moments of the restart Scotland were undone when a sublime offload by Penaud sent Dupont scurrying forward. A surprise chip and collect by the hulking Mathieu Bastareaud opened up the defence and Huget made the score on the left wing.

Gregor Townsend's men were hanging on as the French sensed the moment arriving to kill the match off.

The arrival of Adam Hastings - initially for a head injury assessment to Horne - brought more unpredictability to Scotland, but not always in a welcome way. The game became scrappy as the visitors gambled on offloads and tricky passes to try to gain a foothold.

Entering the final quarter of the match Huget made a succession of defenders miss and took France deep into Scottish territory. A run of punishing phases around the five metre line ended when the ball was spun to Bastareaud but Nick Grigg made a try saving tackle and the dark blues turned over possession.

Townsend unloaded his bench in the hope of fresh impetus but each sliver of light in attack for the Scots was quickly snuffed out by the hard hitting hosts.

With just over five minutes to play a five metre scrum set the platform for France to put the match beyond reach, and a huge shove from their pack sent Gregory Aldritt crashing over the whitewash. Maxime Medard missed the extras but the score stood at 20-3.

Ali Price then finished off a fast line break to put a slightly rosier tinge on the defeat but it it was not over as far as France were concerned.

Long after the clock went red they brought more pressure and gained a bonus point try through Aldritt.

It was once again a day where Scotland had been out-played and contributed to their downfall with a soaring error count, That is sure to keep Townsend awake at night until Wales visit Murrayfield in two weeks time.


Scotland player ratings: Grigg takes his chance on day of few positives

Blair Kinghorn 6 - Asked a lot of questions with kicks in behind and did not always have the answers. Electric when on the break though.
Tommy Seymour 6 - Battled through a hand injury and always looked to get on ball but the France defence gave him short shrift.
Nick Grigg 7 - The little centre with the huge engine was outstanding in defence and carried heartily all day.
Sam Johnson 5 - Looked to get his wider channels firing but couldn't find the vital edge to cut France open.
Sean Maitland 6 - One brilliant break down the right provided hope of a comeback before he was halted by Fickou.
Peter Horne 6 - Has an eye for a gap in the defence but couldn't bring the fluency that Scotland crave.
Greig Laidlaw 6 - Did his best to get the attack going but the defence always seemed to see him coming.
Josh Strauss 5 - Not the big ball carrying impact the 8 brings when he's at his best.
Jamie Ritchie 6 - Produces an immense load of work but up against a fired up Arthur Iturria and Wenceslas Lauret.
Magnus Bradbury 5 - Still getting rid of the rust from his four months out and couldn't match the French intensity.
Jonny Gray 6 - Took an early thud but solderied on to get through his usual mountain of work.
Grant Gilchrist 6 - Stuck to his task on a tough day for the Scottish pack
Simon Berghan 5 - Not Scotland's day at the scrum and also found the French too hot in the loose at times.
Stuart McInally 6 - Carried hard and often but lineout misfired for a second match in a row and the scrum was dominated by the hosts.
Allan Dell 5 - Roundly beaten by Bamba in the scrum as Scotland struggled at the set piece.

Replacements 5 - Adam Hastings mixed up the attack but was guilty of forcing play too often. The rest were unloaded en-masse but didn't provide the extra fuel to bring Scotland back into the contest.

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