France overcome brave Scots in Women's Six Nations

2 weeks ago 20
Elis Martin scores a try for Scotland against FranceScotland got the opening try from a rolling maul with Elis Martin grounding
Scotland (5) 5
Try: Martin
France (3) 15
Tries: Arbey, Gros Con: Queyroi Pen: Queyroi

France overcame valiant Scotland in a fascinating Women's Six Nations contest at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh.

The Scots led 5-3 at the break after Elis Martin marked her first senior start with a try.

Kelly Arbey went over for the first French try but missed kicks kept the hosts in touch.

Bryan Easson's side could not overturn the score and missed out on a losing bonus point when Emeline Gros crossed, the conversion making it 15-5.

Scotland's seven-match winning run comes to an end.

Gaelle Mignot and David Ortiz's team move on to two wins out of two in this year's championship, but without emulating their bonus-point from last week's defeat of Ireland.

Romane Menager outpaced and outmanoeuvred three opponents only to be held up near the line as France threatened early on. The French continued to test their hosts' defence and a knock on gave Lina Queyroi a straightforward penalty for the first points.

France then infringed after a Scottish turnover but Helen Nelson curved her first penalty attempt wide.

Handling errors cost the French and Lisa Thomson rescued Scotland with an almighty clearance after Meryl Smith's initial clearance had been charged down

Scotland soon found themselves gaining territory and a drive off a lineout took them within touching distance of the line but penalty was ultimately the result.

They went again and this time the maul was too much for France as Martin grounded. Nelson's conversion went the same way as her earlier penalty.

The lead held into the second period and more resistance was required from Scotland as Emilie Boulard was tackled superbly by Rhona Lloyd.

Handling errors continued to interrupt French ambition and a lengthy pause ensued as Scotland replacement Molly Wright was hurt in a tackle with Nassira Konde and was taken from the field.

When play resumed, France went from left to right and Menager offloaded for Arbey to go over in the corner. Queyroi's conversion kick was off target. Queyroi then hit the right-hand post from a penalty.

Evie Gallagher's superb tackle shackled France just as they looked set to score a second try that would have taken the game out of reach.

That gave the hosts hope in the final stages but the French pushed hard for their second score and were rewarded when Gros was put in on the left, with Queyroi converting.

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson: "It was really encouraging in so many ways. Defensively we put our bodies on the line. Our lineout defence was outstanding, put them under pressure. I thought we pressurised them all the way. They deserved a point out of that, they deserved a bonus point.

"We are going places. We are a team that's going in a really good direction. England here next. I know we will put in another performance that will make us all proud."

Scotland: Smith, Lloyd, Orr, Thomson, Grant, Nelson, Mattinson; Bartlett, Martin, Belisle, Wassell, McMillan, Malcolm (capt), Stewart, Gallagher.

Replacements: Wright, Cockburn, Clarke, McIntosh, Donaldson, McDonald, Flynn, Rollie.

France: Boulard, Arbey, Konde, Vernier, Menager, Queyroi, Bourdon; Deshayes, Sochat, Khalfaoui, Feleu, Fall, Berthoumieu, Hermet, Menager.

Replacements: Bigot, Mwayembe, Joyeux, Escudero, Gros, Chambon, Tuy, Bourgeois.

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