France 23 Scotland 16
Caretaker coach Scott Johnson insists Scotland cannot accept half-measures if they are to shake off their tag as nearly men.
However, the defence was the one department he could not fault as Scotland held firm for 66 minutes before fatigue set in to allow Wesley Fofana and Maxime Medard to strike twice within four minutes and put the French on course for a 23-16 victory. However, Johnson is worried the progress may be erased if continued demands for high standards are not maintained.
“We defended really well tonight – I thought we were great in our resolve. But we let ourselves down in other areas,” he said.
“However, I asked the guys at the start of the tournament not to send me out to defend the indefensible. But that never happened. They never put me in that position.
“So there has been progress, but, like all things, it doesn’t improve as quick as you’d like. But we have got to get rid of this tag that near enough is good enough. We’ve got to take our opportunities to put teams to bed.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved