Match Report

France sizzle past Scotland to stretch perfect start

France v Scotland image
France cruised to a 69-10 victory over Scotland to make it two from two in the Women’s Summer Series in Parma.

Les Bleues surpassed the 57 points they scored against Wales in round one with four tries in the first half and seven in the second but were helped on their way by a litany of Scottish injuries.

Scotland lost two players inside the opening moments and played the final half hour with 14 women after their tighthead resources were depleted early in the second half.

France were at their ruthless best though and will be eager to wrap up an unbeaten tournament when they take on England on Sunday.

Scotland earlier got off to the worst possible start, losing both prop Chloe Brown and second row Ellie Williamson to injury inside the opening two minutes.

But they recovered smartly and scored the first points of the match after nine minutes when flanker Gemma Bell powered over.

They continued to be dogged by bad luck on the injury front though with tighthead Molly Poolman the third Scotland casualty in a chaotic first 10 minutes.

France found their rhythm just before the first-half water break and scored their first try through Suliana Sivi after brilliant work from scrum-half Anna De Almeida.

Hawa Tounkara hit the upright from the resulting conversion in front of the sticks but made amends just moments later, scoring her second try of the series.

It was her tip pass which set full-back Kelly Arbey free and she worked hard to keep up with play, making herself available for a return pass before dotting down.

Arbey was proving a tricky customer and was denied from close range before fly-half Enoe Neri pulled the trigger prematurely as her cross-kick was charged down.

Wing Lea Trollier then scored a walk-in try after more neat backs lay with a dominant scrum affording France a supremely solid foundation.

France were held up in search of a fourth try but it did arrive before the break as prop Amalia Bazola burrowed over to push France into a 26-7 half-time lead, despite Scotland enjoying the majority of possession.

Scotland centre Lucy Macrae missed a penalty attempt just before the interval but kick-started the second half with an impressive strike from distance to hand her side a mini boost.

But France put the game to bed with two quickfire scores from scrum-half De Almeida and flanker Patrice-Grace Libali.

It went from bad to worse for Scotland as replacement prop Eilidh Fleming limped off and with no further tighthead options in the 23, Claire Cruikshank’s side had to play the remainder of the game with 14 while uncontested scrums were introduced.

Eneka Labeyrie then got on in the act before Taina Maka set up back row colleague and captain Zoe Jean to take France to 50 points just after the hour mark.

The scoring continued in the final quarter with Mae Levy hacking on to register her second try of the tournament before Arbey and Alice Grandhomme added their names to the scoresheet in the closing moments.