France got their Six Nations off to a comfortable start with a 18-9 win over Scotland at Murrayfield. Scotland seldom looked like scoring against a less than full strength French side. The score is perhaps not a fair reflection of a game where France should have scored more tries and Scotland seldom looked like crossing the French goal line.
At scrum time the French were far too strong and Scotland could have been penalized more had it not been for a rather lenient Nigel Owens. This will be a warning to other Six Nations sides who were less impressive in the scrums during the past weekend.
Scotland may be complimented for trying to play with ambition and running the ball from everywhere but in hindsight, this was perhaps not the answer against a strong defensive unit such as France and their ability to counter from quick turnover possession.
Controversial French centre Bastareaud was one of the stars of the day and was rewarded with 2 tries. Amongst the forwards it was Harinordoquy who caught the eye both on defense and attack and he was a well deserved winner of the Man of the Match award.
Scotland: Paterson (Edinburgh); T Evans, M Evans, Morrison (all Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets); Godman (Edinburgh; Southwell, Stade Français 52), Cusiter (Glasgow); Dickinson (Gloucester, Low, Glasgow 70), Ford (Edinburgh; S Lawson, Gloucester 65), Low (Glasgow; Jacobsen, Edinburgh 52), Hines (Leinster; Gray, Glasgow 68), Kellock, Brown, Barclay, Beattie (all Glasgow). Pens: Paterson 3.
France: Poitrenaud (Toulouse); Fall (Bayonne), Bastareaud (Stade Français; Marty, Perpignan 71), Jauzion (Toulouse), Rougerie (Clermont; Clerc, Toulouse, 4); Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Parra (Clermont; Michalak, Toulouse 71); Domingo (Clermont), Servat (Toulouse; Szarzewski, Stade Français 50 ), Mas (Perpignan; Ducalcon 43), Nallet (Racing Métro), Papé (Stade Français; Pierre, Bourgoin 65), Dusautoir (capt; Toulouse; Bonnaire, Clermont 67), Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Harinordoquy (Biarritz).
Tries Bastareaud 2. Con Parra. Pens Parra 2.
Referee N Owens (Wales). Attendance 61,584.