Saint-Andre warns Ireland

Scotland 17 France 19

Saint-Andre warns Ireland

Replacement scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain’s 79th minute penalty saw France to a fortunate win away to Scotland on Saturday but the French boss is confident his team’s home advantage will tell this weekend.

“It will be a different game at home at the Stade de France in front of our crowd,” Saint-Andre said.

“We need to start well and accelerate during the 80 minutes but I am sure the guys can do this. The target [against Scotland] was to win, to keep our discipline, keep our composure and we did this during the 80 minutes.”

“I hope the Brian O’Driscoll party was today in Dublin, not next week at the Stade de France,” said Saint-Andre.

Saturday’s match was France’s first away victory in the Six Nations since they won at Murrayfield two years ago.

Scrum-half Maxime Machenaud kicked three penalties before the break but they still trailed 14-9 at the interval after Scotland scored converted tries through full-back Stuart Hogg and wing Tommy Seymour.

But early in the second half France led when wing Yoann Huget picked off Scotland fly-half Duncan Weir’s telegraphed pass and sprinted some 90 metres for an intercept try.

Weir kicked a penalty to nudge Scotland into a one-point lead heading into the final quarter but the drop-goal hero of Scotland’s last-gasp win against Italy in Rome then missed with a 44-metre effort.

At 17-16 Scotland were only one lapse away from defeat and it came when, with barely two minutes left, lock Tim Swinson was penalised for not releasing at the breakdown in front of his own posts. Doussain, on as a replacement for Machenaud, made no mistake and France had their eighth successive win over Scotland.

“It is a good sign how we got back into the game and this win is especially important as it shows we can win away from home,” said Huget.

There was some debate about referee Chris Pollock’s final penalty award but Scotland coach Scott Johnson was happy to accept the New Zealand official’s verdict in that instance. However, he was mystified as to how Scotland had yet again ended up on the wrong end of a lopsided overall penalty count.

“That’s without a doubt my most disappointing day as Scotland coach,” said Johnson.

“I’m gutted, absolutely gutted. We’ve got to accept our responsibility for it, and we will, but in a competition as close as this and you’re leading the game, and you’re down 11-2 on penalty count, I don’t know. That doesn’t sit well with me.”

Meanwhile Johnnie Beattie and Sean Lamont have both been ruled out of Scotland’s final clash against Wales. Beattie injured his right ankle and Lamont damaged ligaments in his right knee on Saturday.

Scorers for Scotland: Tries: Hogg, Seymour. Cons: Laidlaw 2. Pens: Weir.

Scorers for France: Tries: Dulin. Cons: Machenaud. Pens: Machenaud 3, Doussain.

SCOTLAND: S Hogg, T Seymour, A Dunbar, M Scott, S Lamont, D Weir, G Laidlaw; R Grant, S Lawson, G Cross, R Gray, J Hamilton, J Beattie, K Brown (c), D Denton.

Replacements: T Swinson for Hamilton (68).

FRANCE: B Dulin, Y Huget, M Bastareaud, M Mermoz, M Médard, J Plisson, M Machenaud; T Domingo, B Mach, N Mas, P Papé, Y Maestri, S Vahaamahina, Al Lapandry, D Chouly.

Replacements: G Fickou for Bastareaud (68), JM Doussain for Machenaud (74), V Debaty for Domingo (68), R Slimani for Mas (59), A Flanquart for Maestri (59).

Att: 67,800

Ref: Chris Pollock (New Zealand).

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