Wales had been topped six nations champions when Scotland surprised France
Scottish full-back Stuart Hogg plays the ball during the Six Nations rugby union tournament match between France and Scotland on March 26, 2021 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP via Getty Images)
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT | AFP | Getty Images
Wales were crowned six-nation champions after Scotland won an impressive 27-23 win over France.
France had to make four tries and win by at least 21 points to win their first championship in eleven years, but they never got closer. Scotland continued to threaten excitement by nine minutes ahead of Finn Russell’s sacking.
After the clock was red and France were three points ahead, Brice Dulin decided to keep the ball in play but then conceded a penalty and the Scottish pressure finally showed when Duhan van der Merwe scored in the 84th minute for came into play second time.
It is Scotland’s first win in Paris since 1999.
Dulin, Damian Penaud and Swan Rebbadj crossed the hosts but they never looked like building the steam it took to deal a double blow to Wales after dramatically denying Wayne Pivac’s side the Grand Slam six days earlier had.
It was another rare away win for the Scots after triumphs in Wales and England in the past six months.
Scotland put pressure on quickly and France showed the kind of ambition it needed when making a quick throw and trying to play their way out of trouble after Russell made contact with the ball two meters from his attempt line.
The home side soon put some pressure on, but all they had to show was Romain Ntamack’s ninth-minute penalty.
Scotland soon rose to prominence, making two choices to score two penalties within the French 22. Hooker George Turner was held just in front of the line every time he attacked from the back of the lineout mouth, but Van der did
Merwe forced himself for the second time in the 15th minute.
There was a suspicion of a double move, but umpire Wayne Barnes tried without choosing to look again.
Russell added the two points and created another brilliant long kick that held out a meter from the trial line. The Scots prevailed against their opponents and Jamie Ritchie forced Dulin’s penalty, which Russell overturned to improve Scotland by seven points.
France’s players leave the pitch after winning the Six Nations rugby union match between France and Scotland on March 26, 2021 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP via Getty Images)
MARTIN BUREAU | AFP | Getty Images
Another big kick from Stuart Hogg put France on their hindfoot but the hosts reduced the deficit when Ntamack scored a long-range penalty after a scrum violation.
The home team took the lead after half an hour and Scotland awarded a number of penalties in front of the post.
The pressure showed when Van der Merwe sold too early after a long throw from Antoine Dupont. Penaud went inside so Dulin could cross in the 36th minute and Ntamack turned brilliantly.
Hogg paid the price for conceding Scotland’s first-half penalty in the last minute, but Nick Haining stole the five-meter lineout to keep France’s lead at three at half-time.
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Scotland limited France’s goal to five points during Hogg’s Spell in Sin when Penaud picked up Virimi Vakatawa’s throw, threw the ball over Ali Price and landed in the corner.
Scotland regained control after the numbers were even. Russell kicked a penalty at close range and Sam Johnson was stopped five yards from the line after bursting forward after another successful lineout.
It was France’s turn to send out a series of penalties and David Cherry picked up a loose ball after a lineout before shooting through a gap and beyond. Russell converted to bring Scotland back to the top.
Rebbadj left over five minutes later but Ntamack missed the move and Scotland missed a good chance to qualify for a contact but Kirsch’s lineout was stolen.
Gregor Townsend’s side were still under pressure when Russell was sent off in the 71st minute after catching Dulin with an elbow near the throat trying to block the full-back.
All hopes for another stunning finish from France were dashed within two minutes when Baptiste Serin received a yellow card and Scotland decided again to push for the try instead of going over the post.
The pressure was relentless and Scotland was finally over when it found winger Van der Merwe on the left. Adam Hastings added the points to round out a dramatic championship.