Scotland edge out France at Murrayfield

Scotland edge out France at Murrayfield

Scotland are off the mark in the Six Nations with a 32-26 victory over France helped by the pinpoint right boot of skipper Greig Laidlaw.

Scotland prevailed thanks to tries by Sean Maitland and Huw Jones with man of the match Greig Laidlaw adding two conversions and six penalties in a flawless kicking performance.

"It always helps in decision-making that he (Russell) can speak to someone on the field with that amount of experience", Townsend said of the 59-cap Laidlaw, who joined French club Clermont from Gloucester previous year.

The home side were under pressure to prove they were genuine contenders after being humiliated by Wales in last week's opener in Cardiff.

England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach, lambasted the 25-year-old for laughing and smiling during the pre-match national anthem, writing in his Mail on Sunday column: "He won't be laughing and smiling when he reviews the way his team played, especially Scotland's number ten (fly-half)".

France has started with back-to-back defeats after losing to Ireland 15-13 in Paris last week thanks to an injury-time drop goal.

A scrum-half with considerable Test experience and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the individuals that he'll be facing.

"We gave away too many points", added flyhalf Lionel Beauxis.

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was given a grilling by the Scottish media on Thursday, as they once again sought answers to his side's capitulation against Wales. "We've seen a response from the players in training this week and that needs to continue into and through the 80-plus minutes of the match, because France will pose a massive and immensely physical challenge".

Townsend was shocked by their performance and it is no surprise the team to face France features plenty of changes.

This week Jacques Brunel lifted the lid on his selection decisions.

"I don't have much to reproach the players who started last week", Brunel said.

Greig Laidlaw booted 22 points in his first test start in almost a year to guide Scotland to a 32-26 win over France, kick-starting the team's Six Nations campaign after last week's mauling in Wales. The 32-year-old will be making his first global appearance for six years at Murrayfield.

Scotland - 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid.

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Blair Kinghorn.

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