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HomeSportsMatch Report - Scotland Women 5 - 15 France Women

Match Report – Scotland Women 5 – 15 France Women


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Scotland scored through Elis Martin on her debut in the first half as they went in 5-3 up at the break; France hit back in the second half through Kelly Arbey and Emeline Gros; the same fixture in the 2023 tournament ended 55-0 to France

Last Updated: 30/03/24 4:29pm

Kelly Arbey, at just 18 years of age, showed her prowess to dive over for France

Kelly Arbey, at just 18 years of age, showed her prowess to dive over for France

Scotland put in a gutsy performance but were ultimately beaten 15-5 against a strong France side in the Women’s Six Nations.

World No 3 side France took the lead early on in Edinburgh through a Lina Queyroi penalty but their 3-0 advantage only lasted for 35 minutes as Scotland used their forwards to maul Leicester Tigers’ Elis Martin on her first start for her country as the home team took a 5-3 lead in at the break.

It was a first-half display that showed how far Scotland have come, after going in 17-0 down following the first 40 when they played France away in 2023.

France regained the advantage in the second half through a Kelly Arbey try to take an 8-5 lead, but Scotland kept fighting until the very end, an Emeline Gros try with the clock in the red cementing the 15-5 win for the visitors.

Despite the loss for Scotland, it is a stark contrast to their performance against France last year when they were beaten 55-0 in Vannes.

Scotland show growth as France too big a force

Both sides entered the encounter with a win from their opening fixture and confidence under their belt, and it was Scotland who won the territorial battle in the opening five minutes, putting together phases against a strong France defence.

France's No 8 Romane Menager was on fire in the first half as she troubled the Scotland defence

France’s No 8 Romane Menager was on fire in the first half as she troubled the Scotland defence

Off the back of strong carries from the likes of Romane Menager, who carried over 90 metres in the match, France claimed the momentum and a penalty for a knocked-on interception saw them opt for the three points from the boot of Queyroi.

A scuffed penalty conversion from Helen Nelson kept France 3-0 in front and despite their superior offload game, Scotland kept the visitors off the scoreboard with some brilliant scrambling defence, especially on their own tryline.

Scotland celebrate after Elis Martin scored on her debut

Scotland celebrate after Elis Martin scored on her debut

After surviving the France attack, Scotland then had their chance as they mauled forward from the lineout after a penalty in the 34th minute, the power of their forwards helping them hit the front as Martin went over on her first start.

Although Nelson could not convert, Scotland went in 5-3 up at the break and with momentum on their side.

France came out for the second half and immediately were creating scoring opportunities through Menager combining with Emilie Boulard, but the Scotland defence stood firm despite their opposition dominating the physical battle and making metres.

After trying to force it in attack for a period, France finally clicked in attack 54 minutes in as they went through hands down the right edge, Arbey finishing brilliantly in the corner.

Scotland: Tries: Elis Martin (35)

France: Tries: Kelly Arbey (54), Emeline Gros (80+1); Conversions: Lina Queyroi (13, 80+2)

Thirty seconds of madness from Lisa Thomson, her penalty missing touch before she knocked on the return kick, helped France pile on the pressure but her a penalty miss kept them only three points in front with 15 minutes remaining.

It was then Scotland’s turn to put the French defence under the pump but as desperation ensued for both sides, errors crept into the contest until in the dying moments and the clock in the red, with phases built, Gros took the pass and went over to put an end to the contest.

What’s Next?

Up next for Scotland is a home clash against defending champions England on Saturday April 13, with kick-off at 2.15pm.

For France, a home clash against Italy awaits on Sunday April 14, with kick-off at 12.30pm.

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