|France (13) 23|
|Give it a try: Doolin, Peno, Rebbage Con: Ntamac Grips: Namak 2|
|Scotland (10) 27|
|Give it a try: Van der Merwe 2, Cherry Cohn: Russell 2 Hastings Wren : Russell 2|
Wales won the Six Nations while Scotland’s 14-man squad recorded their first win in Paris since 1999, destroying France’s hopes of the title.
The home team, who needed a bonus point and a 21-point lead, had just one try and a 13-10 lead at half-time.
Damian Penot’s second goal showed that France was in danger, but it could not stop the visitors.
Scotland’s Finn Russell saw red late on, but Doohan van der Merwe delivered the final blow.
It’s only natural that a championship full of close games and dramatic endings would end with another decisive result and hours in the red.
As the Scottish players jumped up and down celebrating Van der Merwe’s action and finish, the French arrived at the rotten Stade de France.
But their hopes of winning the Wales trophy have been dashed.
It is the sixth title in the Six Nations era for a Welsh team that entered the season as individual underdogs after a relentless autumn.
It could have happened earlier, with the Grand Slam gem for Wales, but France put an end to Wales’ celebration and their own hopes with a last minute bonus point victory over Wayne Pivac’s men six days ago.
But the double challenge of scoring four tries and scoring 21 points in a tight game proved too much to overcome.
Tandy’s strong defence stops the French sniffer
France, on the attack, have found that the Scottish defence is not easy.
It is quite possible that the Welshman played a key role in the rejection of France. Since taking over at the end of 2019, defensive coach Steve Tandy has made Scotland the most average defence in the Six Nations.
They scored the fewest points in last year’s championship and have nipped their opponents in the bud in this edition too.
The critical phase occurred on both sides of the breach.
In a soggy and empty Stade de France, Van der Merwe’s shot from close range survived a suspected double to give Scotland a 10-6 lead.
France soon gained the upper hand, bivouacking on the Scottish line, but each time encountering a stalemate.
Chris Harris’ skillful coverage and bravery in contact was particularly impressive.
Bryce Doolin equalized before the break, but even though Scotland captain Stuart Hogg was sent off the field for the first nine minutes of the second half, Scotland did not crack.
Romain Ntamak ran into the hole, Virimi Wakatawa threw a dump from the back point and Penaud jumped on him, chased him down and punished him for a nice score.
But France could not repeat these excesses. And Scotland didn’t let that happen.
Party like it’s…
France captain Charles Ollivon spoke about his team’s cup win before the game.
Scotland’s last win in Paris is so long ago that the Six Nations is a five, Emile Ntamak, not his son Romain, was in the French team and Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was on the field, not on the sidelines.
However, Scotland began this campaign with an away win against England that ended an even more unsuccessful run and never lost confidence.
Captain Stuart Hogg admitted earlier in the week that the confidence of the French public had angered his team and they happily tore the playbook to pieces.
The road to victory was not the one many expected.
Russell, who lit up the futuristic Racing 92 field in the city, didn’t shine much but showed a great IQ.
The fly-half, along with Hogg, turned the French around in the first quarter with long, powerful kicks, forcing them into their own half.
After Russell scored in the 70th minute. When Doolin was forced off the field in the 57th minute due to a forearm strike to the throat, it looked like Scotland would have to settle for a narrow defeat and spoil the party.
But the Scottish forwards, with Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Dave Cherry all excellent, made life difficult for a hard-working and humiliating French pack.
And when fly-half Adam Hastings found van der Merwe with a Russell-like looping pass, he was assured of the famous victory.
Man of the match – Jamie Ritchie
A solid performance from the Scottish blindside who made 15 tackles and two turnovers, both in the team score.
France : Doolin; Penaud, Wakatawa, Vincent, Fikku; Ntamak, Dupont, Bale, Marchand, Howas, Le Roux, Rebbage, Jelonsch, Ollivon, Aldrit
Substitutes : Thomas for Wakatawa (61), Serin for Dupont (64), Gros for Baio (56), Chat for Marchand (56), Atonio for Howas (60), Taofifenua for Le Roux (50), Cretin for Gelonsch (63)
Not used: Batty.
Garbage can: Serine (73).
Scotland: Hogg; D. Graham, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price, Sutherland, Turner, Z. Fudgerson, Skinner, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Heining.
Substitutes : Jones for Graham (66), Hastings for Johnson (73), Kebble for Sutherland (49), Cherry for Turner (59), Craig for Skinner (75), Wilson for Heining (67).
Not used: Bergan, Steele.
Garbage can: Hogg (39).
Sent: Russell (71).
frequently asked questions
How many times has Wales beaten France?
France and Wales have been playing each other in rugby union since 1908. A total of 101 matches were played, of which Wales won 51, France 47 and the remaining three matches ended in draws.
Has Scotland ever won the Six Nations?
Record broken: Scotland won its first Six Nations in Paris since 1999 – video. Scotland were delighted with their 27-23 victory at the Six Nations Stadium on Friday, their first win in Paris since 1999, while Les Bleus failed to secure the bonus point needed to secure the title.
How many Six Nations titles has Wales won?
In the Six Nations, Wales have won the tournament 27 times and shared 12 other victories. The longest time gap between two championships is 11 years (1994-2005).
Wales clinched the Six Nations as 14-man Scotland snatched their first victory in Paris since 1999 to wreck France’s title hopes.
The hosts, needing a bonus point and a winning margin of 21 points, had only one try and a 13-10 lead at the break.
Damian Penaud’s second-half score showed France’s danger, but they could never stretch clear of their visitors.
Scotland’s Finn Russell was shown a late red but Duhan van der Merwe swooped for a decisive late try.
It was fitting that a Championship that has been packed with tight games and show-stopping finales should finish with another match-deciding score and the clock deep in the red.
As Scotland’s players leapt skywards to celebrate Van der Merwe’s step and finish, France’s slumped to the sodden Stade de France turf.
However, their hopes of swiping the trophy from Wales had long since gone.
It is the sixth title of the Six Nations era for a Wales side that came into the campaign as distinct underdogs after an underwhelming autumn.
It could easily have come earlier, and with the added decoration of a Grand Slam for Wales – only for France to keep Wales’ celebrations on ice and their own hopes alive with a last-gasp bonus-point victory over Wayne Pivac’s men six days ago.
But the twin tasks of running in four tries and racking up a 21-point winning margin on a tight turnaround proved far too steep.
Tandy’s tightened defence snuffs out France flair
France’s much-vaunted attack found Scotland’s defence hard going
Fittingly, it was a Welshman who played a key part in denying France. Since arriving at the end of 2019, defence coach Steve Tandy has transformed Scotland into the meanest defence in the Six Nations.
They conceded the fewest points in last year’s Championship and have similarly suffocated their opponents in this edition.
The critical period came either side of half-time.
In a drenched, empty Stade de France, Van der Merwe’s short-range try had survived the suspicion of a double movement to help Scotland to a 10-6 lead.
France soon wrestled their way into the ascendancy, camping on the Scotland line, but found themselves ushered down blind alleys at every turn.
Chris Harris’ canny cover and bravery in contact was especially impressive.
Brice Dulin breached the line before the break but, even with Scotland captain Stuart Hogg in the sin-bin for the first nine minutes of the second half, Scotland did not disintegrate.
Romain Ntamack zipped through a hole, Virimi Vakatawa flipped an offload out of the back of his hand and Penaud chipped, chased and grounded for a fine score.
But France could not replicate those bursts of flair. And Scotland wouldn’t let them.
Party like it’s…
France captain Charles Ollivon had spoken about his side ‘collecting the trophy’ in the build-up to the match
Scotland’s last win in Paris was so long ago that the Six Nations were Five, Emile Ntamack, rather than his son Romain, was in the France team and Scotland’s coach Gregor Townsend was on the pitch rather than the touchline.
Scotland, though, started this campaign with an away victory over England that ended an even longer barren run, and never lost faith.
Captain Stuart Hogg admitted earlier in the week that France’s public confidence had irritated his side and they took great delight in shredding the script.
The route to victory was not the one many might have expected.
Russell, who has been lighting up Racing 92’s futuristic home ground across town, produced a performance low on dazzle, but high on IQ.
The fly-half, along with Hogg, turned France’s back three with long, raking kicks, penning them deep in their own half during the first quarter.
After Russell’s 70th-minute departure for a fending forearm into the throat of Dulin, it seemed Scotland would have to settle for a narrow defeat and pooping a party.
But Scotland’s forwards, with Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Dave Cherry all excellent, took it to a tiring and dispirited French pack.
And when stand-in fly-half Adam Hastings held his nerve to find Van der Merwe with a looping pass worthy of Russell, a famous win was assured.
Man of the match – Jamie Ritchie
A massive performance from Scotland’s blindside who made 15 tackles and two turnovers, both team-high numbers
France: Dulin; Penaud, Vakatawa, Vincent, Fickou; Ntamack, Dupont, Baille, Marchand, Haouas, Le Roux, Rebbadj, Jelonch, Ollivon, Alldritt.
Replacements: Thomas for Vakatawa (61), Serin for Dupont (64), Gros for Baille (56), Chat for Marchand (56), Atonio for Haouas (60), Taofifenua for Le Roux (50), Cretin for Jelonch (63).
Not Used: Bouthier.
Sin bin: Serin (73).
Scotland: Hogg; D Graham, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price, Sutherland, Turner, Z Fagerson, Skinner, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Haining.
Replacements: Jones for D Graham (66), Hastings for Johnson (73), Kebble for Sutherland (49), Cherry for Turner (59), Craig for Skinner (75), Wilson for Haining (67).
Not Used: Berghan, Steele.
Sin bin: Hogg (39).
Sent off: Russell (71).
Frequently Asked Questions
How many times have Wales beaten France?
France and Wales have played each other at rugby union since 1908. A total of 101 matches have been played, with Wales winning 51 times, France 47 times and the remaining three finishing as draws.
Has Scotland ever won the Six Nations?
‘Record breaking’: Scotland’s Six Nations win is their first in Paris since 1999 – video. Scotland were elated to achieve a first win in Paris since 1999 on Friday, grabbing a late 27-23 victory at Stade de France in the Six Nations, while Les Bleus fell well short of the big bonus-point win they needed for the title.
How many Six Nations titles have Wales won?
Six Nations Wales have won the tournament outright 27 times, and shared 12 other victories. Their longest wait between championships was 11 years (1994–2005).
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