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Scotland 0-31 France

France will head for a Grand Slam clash with England in Paris after comfortably disposing of Scotland.

The favourites made light work of their limited opponents as Olivier Magne and Yannick Jauzion, twice, crossed for tries at a subdued Murrayfield.

Dimitri Yachvili converted two and added four penalties to finish with a 16-point haul.

Scotland barely threatened the French line as they finished scoreless at home for the first time in 26 years.

The hosts started brightly but their fragile defence was swiftly undone in France’s first real attack.

Jauzion glided unopposed through the home midfield and fed the marauding Magne, who beat Chris Paterson’s weak tackle to score in the left corner.

Yachvili narrowly missed the conversion, but was on target with a penalty in the 14th minute after Chris Cusiter put his own side under pressure with a wild pass.

The Scots further handicapped themselves when full-back Derrick Lee, on his return to the side, was sin-binned for tackling Yachvili in mid-air.

But they somehow survived his 10-minute absence with some desperate defence, Thomas Lievremont held up inches from the Scottish line.

France should have scored again when Pepito Elhorga fumbled a try under pressure from Simon Webster, who held back the wing as he dived for Nicolas Brusque’s kick.

But their only other score before the interval was a second Yachvili penalty, as Magne knocked on after intercepting a pass from Scotland prop Bruce Douglas.

Scotland’s spirits lifted briefly with a charge from flanker Jason White as the half drew to a close, but were soon deflated again on the resumption.

Yachvili banged over two more penalties to make it 17-0, and thereafter Scotland were restricted to counter attacks from deep inside their own territory.

On one occasion Lee inexplicably threw a forward pass under no pressure and was swiftly replaced, Paterson moving to full-back with Dan Parks coming on at stand-off.

It made little difference however as France stepped up a gear and put the outcome beyond doubt.

Jauzion grabbed his first try after 64 minutes after Damien Traille stood up the Scottish midfield and sent his centre partner over.

His second arrived 10 minutes later as he collected a pass from replacement Julien Bonnaire after Serge Betsen’s initial burst had pierced the Scots’ defence.

Yachvili converted both to complete a 16-point haul and send France on their way to next week’s showdown in Paris in fine fettle.

Teams

Scotland
D Lee, S Danielli, T Philip, A Henderson, S Webster, C Paterson (capt), C Cusiter; A Jacobsen, G Bulloch, B Douglas, S Murray, S Grimes, J White, C Mather, S Taylor.
Replacements
R Russell, G Kerr, N Hines, A Hogg, M Blair, B Laney, D Parks.

France
N Brusque, P Elhorga, Y Jauzion, D Traille, C Dominici, F Michalak, D Yachvili, S Marconnet, W Servat, P de Villiers, F Pelous (capt), P Pape, S Betsen, O Magne, T Lievremont.

Replacements
Y Bru, J-J Crenca, D Auradou, S Bonnaire, J Peyrelongue, C Poitrenaud, V Clerc.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2004 at 7:02 pm and is filed under Six Nations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


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