Player of the Match Virimi Vakatawa expressed his delight at exacting revenge over Scotland, as his try guided France to a 22-15 win at BT Murrayfield to leave them favourites to finish top of Group B in the Autumn Nations Cup.
Scotland were the only Guinness Six Nations side to defeat Fabien Galthié’s charges during the disrupted 2020 Championship, earning a 28-17 win in Edinburgh that ultimately cost Les Bleus the title.
Having finished second behind eventual winners England on points difference, France have now carried their recent impressive form into the Autumn Nations Cup, after their Round 1 clash with Fiji was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Vakatawa notched the only try in the Scottish capital at the start of the second half, as Duncan Weir and Thomas Ramos traded penalties and Matthieu Jalibert notched a drop goal to seal the points for the visitors.
A win against Italy next time out will seal France’s place in the tournament showpiece, and the powerful centre believes the 2010 Grand Slam champions have sent a message to the rest of the competition by ending Scotland’s five-game winning run.
“We are so happy with the win today,” Vakatawa said. “We’ve been working really hard for the last few weeks and we’re delighted to get over the line here today.
“We’ve beaten Scotland to go top of the table after two games, which is a really good feeling. We know it’s always tough coming here but we stuck to our gameplan, and the win was the result of our teamwork.”
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg was frustrated that a slip of concentration led to his side losing the match, after he attempted to kick to the corner to earn a lineout in the late stages but instead kicked the ball dead, ending any hopes of a draw.
Having beaten Guinness Six Nations rivals Italy 28-17 in their Autumn Nations Cup curtain-raiser, Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for the final now rest on whether the Azzurri can beat France in Paris on November 28.
Hogg said: “For 75 minutes, we were probably the better team. We felt in control and five minutes after half-time, we slip up for 30 seconds and they score a try.
“It’s frustrating. We’ve got a lot to learn but we feel in a good place. We didn’t turn rubbish overnight so we’ll go back to the drawing board and start again.
“There was no need for that, trying to take a lineout and give ourselves every opportunity but I’ll take it on the chin.
“I made a mistake, I’m old enough and ugly enough to realise that, I don’t need people telling me.
“But I’m proud of the boys’ efforts, we dug in, we stuck in there to the very end and on another day we probably would have won.”