Highlights: France take care of Scotland in absorbing encounter

Scotland weren't helped by losing four players to injury during the game, including captain and kicker Greig Laidlaw.

"I hope this isn't a backwards step, and I'm not sure that winning takes us backwards".

'There were bits of the game where we didn't link particularly well and we need to improve there, but in defence the guys dug in really hard, even though we lost a couple of players.

Ryan Wilson has been forced to miss the France game with an elbow infection and John Barclay has replaced him at blindside flanker, while John Hardie takes his place on the bench despite having only just made his comeback from a three-month spell recovering from an ankle injury. "The rucks were fiercely contested".

"If you look at the first try, we didn't panic, we went through the phases, didn't try any stupid off-loads - and then scored in the corner".

As the ball tumbled from the kicking tee, Russell swung a boot and subsequently cost his side two points as his rushed effort flew under the bar.

However, the French came back into the game, and after another Lopez penalty had put them 6-5 ahead, a period of sustained pressure eventually saw them cross the line with centre Gael Fickou stretching out to dot down wide out.

"The game was stop-start at times, we couldn't get a rhythm to our attack", moaned Cotter.

But Cotter said: "I haven't asked the question or found out".

"There is frustration and we'll use that frustration to kick off next week's training", said Cotter. "Many things led up to that - it was the unforced errors we talked about, and the territory we needed but couldn't get in the second half".

Hogg's turnover was just one of a string of Scottish mistakes in the last 15 minutes as the visitors were unable to claw back France's late lead after scores were tied for the majority of the second-half at 16-16.

"We defended well", he said.

Prior to their strong display against England, they also thrashed Samoa 52-8 in the Autumn Internationals past year and only narrowly lost 25-23 to Australia and 24-19 to New Zealand.

After Wales' defeat by England on Saturday, Scotland's loss leaves the English as the only team who can win the Grand Slam this season.

  • Leroy Wright