Late penalty helps France break Scottish hearts at Murrayfield

Jean Marc Doussain slots over kick to keep French title hopes alive

France’s Yoann Huget goes over for his try in the Six Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

France’s Yoann Huget goes over for his try in the Six Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 19:04

Scotland 17 France 19: Scotland suffered last-gasp heartache as France snatched a Six Nations win after Jean-Marc Doussain kicked the winning penalty at Murrayfield with just 90 seconds left.

Scott Johnson’s men scored twice in the first half through Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour to leave the championship chasers shocked at the break.

But an error from Duncan Weir – the Scots’ matchwinner in Rome two weeks earlier – let in Yoann Huget to score just as the Scots looked like they were ready to build on their lead.

Weir did nail a nerveless penalty to put Scotland back ahead but Doussain’s late kick and 11 points from the boot of scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud handed Philipe Saint Andre’s team their third win of the tournament.

Scotland had picked up their first win of the campaign in Italy when Weir scored a last-gasp drop-goal, but this time it was the Dark Blues who suffered late agony.

However, they at least showed signs that they have moved on from their 20-0 humiliation at the hands of England the last time they ran out in Edinburgh.

Skipper Kelly Brown was back in the team after being cast aside after a dismal display in the tournament opener and was joined by prop Geoff Cross and David Denton.

But it was Cross who failed to handle Thomas Domingo’s early pressure as he buckled at the first scrum contest just two minutes in.

Machenaud took advantage as he slotted over an easy penalty, before doing the same just moments later as the Scots were forced to foul at the breakdown in a bid to halt a rampant French breakaway.

But Les Bleus scored the rugby equivalent of an own goal to hand Scotland the opening try after 11 minutes. Hogg sent an up-and-under beyond the posts but Huget and Brice Dulin collided as they both went to collect the high ball and Hogg darted in to apply the touchdown to the loose ball.

Referee Chris Pollock had to send the decision upstairs to the TMO but after a short delay he got the okay to signal a huge cheer from the home supporters.

Greig Laidlaw added the extras to put the hosts ahead, but Les Bleus responded through another Machenaud penalty.

Scotland have shaken off the wounds sustained in that meek surrender to England, though, responding to that minor setback in stunning style.

After powering to within 10 yards of the French line, they tugged their opponents one way then the other with a rapid three-man move involving Weir, Matt Scott and finally Seymour, who found a small gap to dart through for their second score.

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