France get the better of Scotland in Nice

France produced a scintillating attacking display to beat Guinness Six Nations rivals Scotland 32-3 in their opening Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Nice.

France produced a scintillating attacking display to beat Guinness Six Nations rivals Scotland 32-3 in their opening Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Nice.

A brace from Maxime Medard plus tries from Alivereti Raka, Gregory Alldritt and Antoine Dupont completed an impressive five-try display for Jacques Brunel’s men.

The visitors only had an Adam Hastings penalty to show for their efforts despite showing plenty of endeavour in attack through the rampaging runs of the electrifying Stuart Hogg.

Scotland got off to the worse possible start when an overthrow by Stuart McInally handed France an attacking platform in the visitors’ 22 in the opening minute of the game.

And the hosts took advantage straight away as Fijian-born winger Raka crashed through the Scottish defence to go over under the posts, with Lopez knocking over the extras.

Gregor Townsend’s men responded to going behind with a half-break from Stuart Hogg after a smart offload from Ali Price, but the attack ultimately broke down and France cleared their lines.

Les Bleus continued to look dangerous in attack, though, and thought they had another try on 12 minutes when Medard waltzed over the whitewash.

A Wesley Fofana forward pass in the build-up meant the effort was ruled out, although Lopez was able to increase his side’s advantage with a penalty after a Scotland scrum infringement.

While Scotland remained a threat with the ball in hand, too many errors cost them – exemplified by Byron McGuigan’s hasty forward pass to Huw Jones after good work from Duncan Taylor.

France’s tempo on the other hand was relentless and they were soon rewarded with their second try after setting up an overlap down the left channel, with Medard finishing off the move.

Scotland were given some encouragement on 24 minutes when France’s Sebastien Vahaamahina was penalised for offside, with Hastings slotting the penalty to get his side on the board.

But the visitors soon found themselves up against it again when Hastings was sin-binned just after the half-hour mark for a knock-on from an offside position.

Les Bleus once again showed no mercy as they kicked to the corner from the penalty and formed a driving maul from which Alldritt dotted down, with Lopez missing the extras.

They almost had another on the cusp of half-time as well, with Dupont running the ball from his own line before Damian Penaud chipped the ball forward only for Hogg to see off the danger.

With their stunning second-half comeback against England in the Guinness Six Nations still fresh in their mind, Scotland came out after the restart hopeful of turning the game around.

But it was a familiar story as the hosts showed quick hands in attack to get the ball out to Medard, who crossed the whitewash for his second try of the evening.

Lopez missed the conversion but made up for his miss by adding the extras after France scored their fifth try through Dupont, giving Les Bleus a comfortable 32-3 advantage.

The introduction of Rory Hutchinson for his first cap gave Scotland fans reason to cheer, while Scott Cummings also came off the bench to make his bow for his country at senior level.

Neither man was able to help their side close the deficit, however, as France saw out the remaining minutes for their second win over Scotland this year after beating them in the Championship.

Scotland will now hope to avenge their defeat when they welcome Les Bleus to Edinburgh for their second World Cup warm-up game next weekend.