Scotland showed their fighting spirit once again in their match against France, but they were ultimately defeated by a late penalty from Thomas Ramos. The game took place on a hot Saturday night in Saint-Etienne, and it was a thrilling contest from start to finish.
Gregor Townsend’s Scotland team had already overcome a 21-3 deficit to beat France at Murrayfield the previous week, and they found themselves trailing 27-10 going into the final quarter of the match. However, they launched a remarkable comeback to level the game at 27-27. Their hopes of victory were dashed when Finn Russell narrowly missed the conversion for Kyle Steyn’s second try of the match, and Ramos’s penalty in the final minutes secured a 30-27 win for France.
Scotland made six changes to the side that had triumphed over France in their previous encounter, with two of those changes being enforced due to suspensions and injuries. Captain Jamie Ritchie returned to the team after recovering from a minor calf issue. On the other hand, France made 13 changes to their side following their loss to Scotland, bringing back key players like Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.
In addition to facing a strong French team, Scotland also had to cope with the sweltering 26-degree heat. However, they didn’t let this affect their performance and set about putting pressure on the French from the kick-off. After sustained pressure, they took the lead through Kyle Steyn’s try, with Finn Russell converting the score. France responded with a penalty, but Russell extended Scotland’s lead with a penalty of his own.
France thought they had scored a try through Dupont, but it was disallowed due to a penalty infringement. Nonetheless, France capitalised on Ali Price’s sin-binning, scoring a try through Ntamack to take a three-point lead. In the second half, France extended their lead with two quick tries from Damien Penaud and Charles Ollivon, both converted by Ramos. Scotland managed to reduce the deficit with a try from Duhan van der Merwe, but Russell missed the conversion.
With the game seemingly slipping away from Scotland, they mounted a comeback with a try from Rory Darge and a second try from Steyn. However, Russell was unable to convert the second try, leaving the game tied at 27-27. Ramos then stepped up and converted a penalty to secure the victory for France.
Despite the loss, Scotland can take pride in their performance and fighting spirit. They showed resilience in their fightback and demonstrated their ability to compete against top teams. The result sets up an exciting rematch between the two sides in the final game of their series.