Scotland edge out France at Murrayfield

Scotland edge out France at Murrayfield

The hosts received the ball back from a French mistake, however, before Laidlaw recovered to set up Huw Jones for a try.

Scotland will next face reigning champions England, who are bidding for a historic third straight Six Nations title, at Murrayfield on Saturday, 24 February (16:45 KO).

France are fifth in the standings with two points with their next opponents Italy on zero after they also lost their first two games.

"It is hard to describe the joy at winning", Laidlaw, 32, told the BBC. Sometimes you have to kick and respect their defence. "We knew we had to put in a performance after last week".

Laidlaw, who was replaced as captain permanently at the start of the year by John Barclay after almost seven years at the helm, will win his 60th cap for his country and will attempt to get a re-jigged back line firing on all cylinders after failing to live up to their attacking reputation on the opening weekend.

Russell had a curates egg of a match, several times failing to find touch and gain territory for the Scots from penalties.

Cardiff was Townsend and Price's first major speed bump, and it coincided with Laidlaw's return.

"It's for Simon to show that we're not (weaker in the scrummage)", said Townsend. France's kicks, by contrast, were far more risky, as Thomas proved with his second try after 26 minutes.

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"The forwards had a massive game". The good thing for us is we're playing at home, our form over the last two years has been really good playing at home.

France soon offended again, allowing Laidlaw to close the gap back to three, but after that they began to dominate territorially, and Serin was on target with another penalty after 56 minutes.

After all the analysis and "where did we go wrong" navel-gazing about the Cardiff debacle, Gregor Townsend offered a conclusive answer in selecting 160 caps worth of extra experience for Scotland's second NatWest 6 Nations game against France on Sunday.

"There's a certain expectation for the French national team to play a certain way and there's certain fundamentals in the their game", said Townsend, who spent five years as a player in the Top 14.

"He ran a couple of plays there this morning". Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 22. Maxime Machenaud converted, then added another three points in the 10th minute after John Barclay had been penalised, and Scotland had still not had anything amounting to a half-decent attack.

Jacques Brunel saw his first championship clash in charge end in narrow defeat to Ireland last week and Barclay says his side must now stand up to the test against their muscle-bound opponents. After a rolling maul on the right side, the home team used the space on the left and Sean Maitland dived over acrobatically in the corner in the 11th minute.

"What we were missing again was a question of discipline", he told France Televisions.