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Match Thread: Scotland V France | Sunday 15:00 11 Feb | Murrayfield | TV3 BBC FR2

  • 10-02-2018 4:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19,225 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Le March on Murrayfield

    I think it's fair to say most spectators would look to England v Wales as the fixture of the weekend but a part of me thinks the stakes are a little higher between Scotland and France.

    The Stakes

    Scotland are in a world of hurt. The narrative last week was of a Scotland team heading to Cardiff to kick off their tournament with a crucial away win against a Welsh team whose competitiveness was stolen by injuries.

    But that story wasn't true and the reality was in fact almost cruel.

    "But... that isn't fair..."

    "Who says life is fair?" said the Grandpa in the princess bride and just as in that work of fiction so was the fiction that Scotland were favourites heading to Wales last weekend.

    The warnings were there in advance. Keith Wood articulated or maybe prophesied that a troubled Scotland would be completely undone by the absence of a competitive front row and he was half right. Scotland were completely undone but it was the absence of competitive halves that caused that early damage.

    I commented in the match thread that Ali Price was at the centre of everything wrong with Scotland's performance but on review it was certainly a toss up between Russell and Price for the defeats primary architect.

    The end result is that Scotland are summoning a psychologist to help deal with the fallout. Wales snatched victory from the clutches of pure capitulation and Scotland's lack of trench leaders was laid bare for all and sundry. The acquiescence carved into Gregor "Toonie" Townsends face in the post match conference told it's own story for those who hung around to see it.

    "But... that isn't fair..."

    This quote perhaps also speaks to France's fortunes. Under pressure from the opening minute and denied possession or opportunity France still found themselves victors with the match complete but for the passing of the ball over the correct white line.

    "Who says life is fair..?" said Johnny Sexton.

    It would be a mistake to put both losses into anything resembling the same category. 50 minutes separated the point at which France and Scotland eventually threw in the towel in round 1 with France's ultimate defeat coinciding with the blowing of Nigel Owens whistle for the final time.

    France will have been left utterly dejected and those fantastic images of broken, bloodied bodies saturating the soil in the Stade de France will galvanise this group of young players if they allow themselves to view an away fixture as something worth fighting for.

    The Teams


    A mixture of injury, failure to perform and absence of leadership quantify the six changes made by Gregor Townsend ahead of Sundays game. Quoted during the team announcement press conference he said “The responsibility for last week lies with the coaches and myself,” which suggest that they feel they got the tactics wrong. I'd tend to agree but for me the blame lies in the hands of those who took to the pitch.

    Injuries dominate the enforced changes to Frances selection. They recall a number of experienced operators in addition to the All Black beating Lionel Beauxis who must be wondering more than anyone how fate has transpired to land him in the French 10 jersey for the first time in six years:

    Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid
    Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Blair Kinghorn

    France: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Rémi Lamerat, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Maxine Machenaud, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot
    Replacements: 16 Adrien Pelissié, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Benjamin Fall
    Recent results


    2017: France won 22-16 in Paris
    2016: Scotland won 29-18 in Murrayfield
    2015: France won 19-16 in Paris
    2015: France won 15-8 in Paris
    2014: France won 19-17 at Murrayfield
    2013: France won 23-16 in Paris
    2012: France won 23-17 at Murrayfield
    2011: France won 34-21 in Paris
    2010: France won 18-9 at Murrayfield
    2009: France won 22-13 in Paris


    Round 1 Highlights



    Prediction


    A poor performance from either team will be massive for their future development. A loss for Scotland lines them up for a competition with Italy for the wooden spoon and a return to the early Cotter days of despair for Scottish fans. It's critical for the entire Scottish project that Scotland win this game.

    France on the other hand were impressive, committed and determined last week against the deserved no.3 team in the world and should, and I hope will take heart from that. Still their away form is a significant variable and a win this weekend will put them back in the frame for the tournament but will also announce that there will be no more easy fixtures against Les Blues.

    Scotland need to bring the flare, France need to dominate the tight in an obvious reversal of the teams dominant characteristics from a decade ago.

    The bookies are marginally favouring Scotland but I'm going to go against the head here and suggest that France will win by more than one score. The future of both teams are on the line and the stakes are as high as they come.

    Fortune favours the bold!


«13456

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    The loser will be confined to playing the rest of the tournament for pride. The winner is still in with a chance. I think Scotland at home will be a tad more desperate and that might be the difference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,396 ✭✭✭ joseywhales


    France to win all remaining 4 games.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    Wit ur fancy shmancy double YouTubes. Lah-dee-dah.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,225 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    Wit ur fancy shmancy double YouTubes. Lah-dee-dah.

    You're still drunk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,579 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Chances are the Scottish pack are going to get steam rolled. Going on last week, I don’t expect France to do a great deal with ball, but if the Scots cough up a load of scrum penalties, Beauxis will convert them (or is Machenaud kicking?). Either way France will punish them if the scrum disintegrates. Think England’s managing of Wales today, shows that the Scots were very poor, more so than Wales being really excellent last week. France to win by 5.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,331 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    Having seen just how dour Wales were today, it may well put the abysmality of the Scots performance last week into a far more realistic perspective. If France play the same games as they did last week, they will literally walk all over what are a very weak home pack. I can see this being as much as a 30 point difference IF the visitors want it and make the effort tomorrow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,942 ✭✭✭✭ razorblunt


    If the French are as abrasive in defence as they were last week, they can really smother the Scots, especially with Laidlaw at 9.
    Horne at the center should give Russell a bit of an outlet that he didn't have last week. It allows Jones move to 13 too.

    An early score France can really silence the crowd and pile the pressure on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,648 gooch2k9


    France to win, and they'll beat Italy, and that way they will have something to play for against England in the SdF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,641 Dog Botherer


    A tribute to that smiter of All Blacks, Lionel Beauxis.

    Seriously. Watch it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭ penybont exile


    Scotland for me ......

    France over rated on this site ...... just because ..... well we all know why .....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,579 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Scotland for me ......

    France over rated on this site ...... just because ..... well we all know why .....

    You mean like the Welsh performance was overstated, well because you know why...?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,502 spock.


    France are 2/1 with the bookies.

    I think that's a huge price.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Scotland for me ......

    France over rated on this site ...... just because ..... well we all know why .....
    You may be right. But a tackle count welll into the 200s (94% completion) and only 10 penalties (3 from Vahaamahina) tells a tale of excellent discipline and defensive work rate. Apart from Vahaamahina of course. ;)

    There's probably an element of home advantage in those stats and Nigel helped them slow down the ball, but those stats are repeatable and demonstrate once again, that France can play an attritional game and carry it on for 80 minutes. They'll be disappointed that they lost that game, but will also be consoling themselves that they only lost to a one in a milion strike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭ penybont exile


    stephen_n wrote: »
    You mean like the Welsh performance was overstated, well because you know why...?

    Most folk in Wales were realistic about how we played last week. We were good but more accuracy would have yielded a bigger victory. That accuracy cost us yesterday in what were difficult conditions against a far better team.

    Scotland will be better today ..... hopefully it stays dry ..... if it does I can't see France winning.

    On a personal note I would love Scotland to win ....with a good performance. They were a bit naive last week but will have learnt from it ..... I hope. I like the way they play and to see that adventure rewarded today would bring a smile to my face.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    The natural order of world rugby needs to be restored. Wales began exactly that last week, France to continue it today.
    And please let's have loads of close ups of Laidlaw's dismayed mug.

    France by 12.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,579 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Most folk in Wales were realistic about how we played last week. We were good but more accuracy would have yielded a bigger victory. That accuracy cost us yesterday in what were difficult conditions against a far better team.

    Scotland will be better today ..... hopefully it stays dry ..... if it does I can't see France winning.

    On a personal note I would love Scotland to win ....with a good performance. They were a bit naive last week but will have learnt from it ..... I hope. I like the way they play and to see that adventure rewarded today would bring a smile to my face.

    The problem Scotland face, is forwards win games and they don’t have a front 5 that’s 6N standard. Ireland struggled last week because they couldn’t out muscle France up front. How do you think the Scots will fair against that. I don’t think it will be pretty, but I think France will bully there way to victory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    Beauxis Day!

    France by 5 is my suspicion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,590 ✭✭✭ CurryFlavoured


    This is an interesting one. If France perform well and win in Murrayfield, then last week's result looks pretty good. It tells us that maybe France aren't pushovers and they could cause England trouble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,119 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia


    France by 15 points


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭ ionadnapokot


    Fascinating to see how both teams respond to last weeks defeats.
    I think the dry conditions will suit Scotland allot more.
    Ref: Lacey. Also ref for Scot win over Wales last year.

    I expect < 11 scrums.
    Multiple line breaks from both. Scotland > 10 line breaks
    > 12pens against France
    Laidlaw to kick his goals
    & Scotland to win. scoring 3 tries v 2


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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine


    I'm expecting a 1 score French win here. I don't expect France to roll over again England either.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Stheno


    Try France they look well fired up


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    Carbon copy Thomas try...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,219 ✭✭✭✭ Clegg


    That was awful from Russell.

    Having a stinker of a tournament so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 56,308 ✭✭✭✭ FrancieBrady


    Fecker did it again! :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭ bloodless_coup


    Lots of French there


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 ✭✭✭ Scythica


    Getting the feeling I should have had more fantasy players in this match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,163 ✭✭✭ Burkie1203


    Good from Thomas but scotland are brutal


  • Registered Users Posts: 837 ✭✭✭ Subpopulus


    Offloads everywhere from France.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,225 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Calling it now. This is going to be a drubbing.


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