Just seconds remain in Saint-Denis and France have the ball with a slim four-point lead. Prudence would invite you to run out the clock, but Les Bleus is not worth any victory. The defeat in Dublin forces us to look for the bonus point granted by the fourth trial: maximum risk. Gaël Fickou, a veteran who can always be counted on, strikes in the goal area, reengages his team in the fight for the Six Nations and leaves the comeback for Scotland, which came from winning its first two games for the first time in 24 years, in an honorable defeat.
France took over as favorites with an impressive start. Romain Ntamack needs it, who is playing the opening position for the World Cup. Following the advance of his forwards, he stretched out the accordion in search of the crack. I found it on 10 to rehearse in just five minutes. Thus began the Macedonia of dramas for the Scots, who a minute later attended the expulsion of their striker Grant Gilchrist for a plate with a shoulder to the head of Jelonch. With no time to process the paper, Ntamack assisted Dumortier and made it 12-0.
The table was set for a French feast, but Mohammed Haouas took the tablecloth with him. In a clumsy move, he headbutted Ben White, who fell backwards as he reached to release the ball. Nika Amashukeli, the main referee, did not see enough danger for the red card, but his assistants convinced him. It is the second sending off for Haouas against Scotland; that of 2021 cost France the tournament and the Grand Slam. Still, Scotland continued to go into debt in the 14v14 format. They came close to trying twice – Zander Fagerson missed the oval on the perch and Ritchie ruined Van den Merwe’s superiority with a poor pass – and conceded an interception to Thomas Ramos heading to 19-0.
What followed was an incomplete feat for Scotland, which never stopped believing in the comeback, initiated by Huw Jones, in a state of grace, after finally breaking the last French curtain. The first Caledonian test did not make up much of the deficit at halftime (22-7), but Jones repeated after the first ten minutes of the second half in which Scotland had 80% possession. The formula to turn the score around was Fin Russell’s foot, always ready for mischief, even in the most compromised areas. His team set up base camp in the rival noble zone and the third trial arrived, the work of Russell himself. The match was in a handkerchief (25-21).
France saved a watered down afternoon with its defensive solvency. Antoine Dupont, the great creator of him, created a couple of surgical plates so that his selection would not pay doubts in the definition of Dumortier, who had the test shot, but did not dare to dive and saw how the Scots gave him they turned He did not forgive Fickou, whose essay changes the ranking. Until then, Scotland added the defensive bonus point for losing seven points or less. In a breath, the center took a point from his rival and put another in his locker. Both accompany England in a three-way tie at 10 points in second place, five behind Ireland, the only one that has won its matches.
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