Match Centre: France 32-21 Scotland

Romain Ntamack scored the opening try for France
Romain Ntamack scored the opening try for France
©Steve Haag

France 32-21 Scotland, Paris

France restored their hope of defending Six Nations title as they defeated Scotland 32-21 in the third round in Paris on Sunday.

This is second win for France in three games as they move to the fourth position in the table while Scotland are at second. The two teams join third positioned England with 10 points.

France opened their account early in the fourth minute as Romain Ntamack dived in the corner after Julien Marchand charged forward and created the space.

Thomas Ramos kicked the conversion but soon Scotland were down to 14 players with Grant Gilchrist sent-off for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Jelonch, who had to leave the field in the 6th minute.

With the numerical advantage on their side, Ethan Dumortier dived in the corner to make it 12-0 before France prop Mohamed Haouas was red carded for a clear-out on Ben White.

The Les Bleus got their third try inside the first quarter with Thomas Ramos dotting down after intercepting a long pass from Finn Russell. Ramos also kicked the conversion as the home side scored 19 unanswered points.

The first response from the Dark Blues came in the 25th minute as Russell allowed Huw Jones to score before Ramos kicked a penalty goal before the break to make it 22-7 at the end of the opening half.

Scotland were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Sione Tuipulotu combined with Jones to send the latter over the line for the second time in the game and Russell improved to make it 22-14. Ramos with a three-pointer of his own in the 57th minute extended France's lead to 11 points.

However, Scotland clawed their way back into the game with Russell darted over the line and converted his own try to make it a four-point game and with as the game entered the final stage, Gael Fickou crashed over for the bonus-point try to seal the victory.

Team line up:

France: Ramos, Penaud, Fickou, Moefana, Dumortier; Ntamack, Dupont (capt); Baille, Marchand, Haouas, Flament, Willemse, Jelonch, Ollivon, Alldritt.

Reserves: Barlot, Wardi, Falatea, Taofifenua, Cros, Macalou, Couilloud, Jalibert.

Scotland: Hogg, Steyn, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, R Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie (capt), Watson, M Fagerson

Reserves: Brown, Bhatti, Nel, J Gray, Skinner, Dempsey, Price, Kinghorn