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France too good for Scotland in Paris

dpa logodpa 12/02/2017

France bounced back from their opening-day loss to defending Six Nations champions England with a 22-16 win over Scotland in Paris.

A try from Gael Fickou helped France to a 22-16 victory over Scotland on Sunday in the Six Nations to register their first victory of the tournament.

Stuart Hogg scored Scotland's only try as Vern Cotter's side at least had the consolation of earning a losing bonus point.

The result leaves France joint third in the table with Scotland and Wales on five points after two rounds. Defending champions England top the table with eight points following Saturday's victory over Wales, followed by Ireland on six points thanks to their 63-10 demolition of Italy.

In an open encounter, France went ahead at the Stade de France on six minutes through a Camille Lopez penalty when Josh Strauss was penalised at the breakdown.

Scotland struck back through Hogg 10 minutes later when the fullback scored his third try in two games after latching on to a Huw Jones pass although Greig Laidlaw missed the difficult conversion.

France went back in front through another Lopez penalty three minutes later and Guy Noves' side moved further ahead on 31 minutes when Fickou rounded off sustained French pressure for the home side's only try.

Lopez slotted the conversion but two further penalties from Finn Russell saw Scotland only trailing 13-11 at the break.

Scotland moved back in front three minutes after the restart when a Tommy Seymour chip ahead bounced awkwardly, allowing Seymour to collect and send Tim Swinson in under the posts.

However, Russell missed the simple conversion when the ball rolled off the tee midway through his run-up and Lopez levelled the game with another penalty on 48 minutes as France began to dominate possession and territory.

Hogg and Scott Spedding both missed penalties while France almost scored a second try on 67 minutes but Remi Lamerat was deemed to have failed to have grounded the ball following a try review.

France finally got the reward their relentless pressure deserved with two late Lopez penalties to secure a hard-fought but deserved victory.

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