Late Thomas Ramos penalty earns France victory over battling Scotland

Scotland staged one other stirring fightback in opposition to France earlier than being edged out by a late penalty from Thomas Ramos on an intoxicating Saturday evening within the Saint-Etienne warmth.

Gregor Townsend’s facet – who overturned a 21-3 deficit to beat Les Bleus at Murrayfield every week beforehand – trailed 27-10 going into the ultimate quarter contained in the raucous Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

The Scots roared again to stage the match at 27-27 and would have gone forward if Finn Russell had managed to transform Kyle Steyn’s second strive of the match within the 72nd minute.

However, their hopes of solely a second victory on French soil this century had been dashed when Ramos’s dependable boot made it 30-27 with simply two minutes remaining.

Scotland made six modifications to the facet that began final weekend’s 25-21 win over France at Murrayfield, two of which had been enforced with the suspended Zander Fagerson and the injured Ben White dropping out. Captain Jamie Ritchie returned after being troubled by a minor calf concern in current weeks.

After fielding a shadow facet in Edinburgh final weekend, Les Bleus made 13 modifications, restoring big-hitters like captain Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Gael Fickou and Jonathan Danty.

In addition to going through the facet ranked second on this planet, the Scots additionally needed to deal with 26 diploma warmth as they emerged from the tunnel to a buoyant residence assist clearly revelling within the prospect of internet hosting the World Cup, which will get beneath manner in lower than 4 weeks.

The Scots – who had been 19-0 down after 20 minutes on their final journey to France in February – may simply have wilted within the cauldron however they set about taking the sting out of the ambiance by getting themselves into French territory from kick-off.

Following a sustained interval of stress, the guests took the lead after 4 minutes when the ball was labored from left to proper and Steyn ran on to a perfectly-weighted cross from Blair Kinghorn earlier than evading a problem from Gabin Villiere and touching down. Russell executed the conversion impressively from large on the best.

France received themselves off the mark within the eighth minute with a penalty from Ramos, however Russell restored the Scots’ seven-point lead with a penalty of his personal three minutes later. Ramos lowered the hosts’ deficit as soon as extra with one other penalty within the twenty second minute.

The French momentarily thought that they had gone forward within the twenty ninth minute when Dupont raced clear to the touch down behind the posts however the celebrations had been minimize brief as play was pulled again with Ali Price having did not retreat the required 10 yards when Les Bleus took a fast penalty. There was some comfort for the annoyed residence assist, nevertheless, because the Scotland scrum-half was sin-binned for his infringement.

France, who had been build up a head of steam, quickly capitalised on their extra-man benefit as Ntamack minimize by way of the Scottish defence to plant the ball down left of the posts, and Ramos was as soon as once more on level along with his kick to edge them three forward.

The guests desperately wanted a robust begin to the second half however their hopes had been dented once they conceded two tries – scored by Damien Penaud and Charles Ollivon – inside 4 minutes of the restart. The unflappable Ramos transformed each occasions.

However, the Scots managed to cut back their arrears within the 62nd minute when Duhan van der Merwe bounded over on the left after a breakthrough try from Huw Jones was thwarted simply earlier than the road. Russell was astray along with his kick.

The guests – having appeared well-beaten – immediately had some impetus and so they closed to inside 5 factors within the 68th minute when Rory Darge compelled his manner over from shut vary after a slick build-up, with Russell including the extras.

Remarkably, Scotland drew stage 4 minutes later when Steyn ran on to a kick-through from George Horne to the touch down on the best. Russell – with the possibility to edge his group in entrance – was simply large along with his conversion try.

Ramos made no mistake when offered with the chance to win a pulsating match for the French within the 78th minute.

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