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Scotland win pleases Townsend but coach demands more improvement

Gregor Townsend sees room for players to get better in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup.

Improvement: Gregor Townsend saw good and bad in Scotland's display.
Improvement: Gregor Townsend saw good and bad in Scotland's display. SNS Group

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend admitted his team were far from perfect in defeating France but praised their comeback victory in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match.

A week on from suffering a heavy defeat against the same opposition, Scotland ground out a three point victory at Murrayfield with a performance that Townsend labelled more like the Scotland team he expects.

The Scots were 11 points behind after half an hour but scored the only try of the second half to win. Now Townsend is demanding more of his players as they approach the World Cup in Japan next month.

Townsend said: "I felt in the first 20 minutes we were on our game and that wasn't getting shown on the scoreboard because a couple of times France scored off the back of our possession.

"I just felt with the bite in the tackles, with the speed of ball and where we were attacking France - it looked like us out there.

"It wasn't a perfect performance, clearly not, but I was really satisfied with how the players found a way to win.

https://stv.tv/sport/rugby/1440246-scotland-v-france-match-report/ | default

"Against the scoreboard, against a team that had beaten them comfortably the week before, against multiple changes in rhythm with a lot of stoppages and with the injuries where we had to put John Barclay and Ryan Wilson in the second row near the end.

"We were against a very good French side - that team was stronger than the one we faced in Nice last week.

"So what the players did today was excellent but we know our performance will have to improve a lot over the next few weeks."

For captain Greig Laidlaw the display showed a reaction to last week's 32-3 thumping - despite 14 changes to the starting 15.

Asked about the team being fired up for the game in Edinburgh, Laidlaw said: "In my opinion the jersey, the history that goes with it, demands that that is a given.

"The boys were hurting from last week so we were playing for them as well.

"They never went out there to get that result last week but it happened.

"So it was important this week for the jersey and for momentum going in to the World Cup to beat a good French team."

Three Scotland players are being monitored after coming off injured. Winger Tommy Seymour and back row Blade Thomson both failed concussion checks.

Second row Sam Skinner sustained a hamstring strain and will be scanned to discover the extent of the injury in the next 48 hours.

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