Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match Jamie Ritchie hailed the hard work of his teammates as Scotland ended France’s Grand Slam dreams in a 28-17 victory at BT Murrayfield.
Sean Maitland crossed either side of half-time as a first-half red card for Mohamed Haouas for punching Ritchie saw Scotland seize control of the contest.
Stuart McInally added Scotland’s third try while Adam Hastings kicked 13 points with the boot as the hosts ran away with it in the second half despite scores from Damian Penaud and Charles Ollivon, and flanker Ritchie was full of praise for the hard yards made by his side.
“I’m absolutely delighted. There was a huge energy from the crowd and the boys worked out of their skin,” Ritchie said. “It was awesome.
“We love playing at home in front of everyone here and we wanted to do it for them and for ourselves.”
Ritchie delivered one of a number of towering showings from the Scottish back row, as he registered a 100 per cent success rate from his 11 tackles while also making 16 metres on four carries.
He was a constant, relentless presence at the breakdown and was also at the heart of Maitland’s second score, combining with Sam Johnson to send the winger over.
It was an individual performance which summarised the wider collective spirit of Scotland, as they answered their critics in emphatic fashion.
And, having seen team and head coach Gregor Townsend coming under pressure in the lead-up to the game following defeats to Ireland and England, Ritchie now believes there is more to come.
When asked if Scotland can kick on and beat Wales at Principality Stadium next weekend, Ritchie simply said: “Why not?
“There’s been a lot of chat around this tournament for us and we knew we had the opportunity to win some games. We’re glad to get two now.”