Coach backs Scotland’s call not to settle for draw against France

Scots gamble on passing up on kickable penalty to go for win, but come up short

Vern Cotter backed his team's decision not to take the penalty that would have handed them a draw in Paris.

The Scots were left chasing a result against France in their fourth and final World Cup warm-up match after a late touchdown put Les Bleus ahead.

But skipper Greig Laidlaw and his players opted against knocking over a simple kick that would have tied the match, as they instead chose to go for the win.

The gamble backfired as the hosts held out for a 19-16 win at the Stade de France, denying Scotland their first win in Paris since 1999.


Cotter said: “The boys wanted to get the win. It’s been a few years since we had one [in Paris]. They wanted to get over the line and created several line breaks.

Good attitude

“It was a good attitude to take. It was a game where we were testing ourselves.

“It’s the players’ decision and I completely back it.”

Laidlaw added: “If we had kicked the goal we’d have taken a draw, but just with the manner of the game, we came to win. It was a team decision in the end and we felt we could win.”

Scotland claimed a 9-6 half-time lead, despite a disjointed first-half showing blighted by a misfiring lineout and a series of handling errors.

And they looked set for victory themselves when a moment of magic from Laidlaw put them 16-12 up with 15 minutes left.

However, the joy did not last as Nakaitaci battered through the Scots’ defence for the winning try.