Backed by a big crowd at La Rochelle, France were too strong for Scotland in the second round of the Six Nations, winning 55-0.
It’s 10 years since Scotland scored a try in France, but after their performance in the opening week of the Six Nations they will have approached this game with some confidence about their ability to put together an improved performance.
And for the first quarter of the game they held their own. Their scrum was solid and stable and, if they were making the odd handling error, France were making more.
Then on 18 minutes France at last got the breakthrough. Lenaig Corson broke down the left, France kept the ball through several phases (which they had failed to do in the opening quarter) before the ball finally found its way to Safi N’Diaye on the right. 5-0 to France.
This was the start of 60 minutes of almost continual occupation of the Scottish end of the field by France, although dogged Scots defence allied to French errors meant that France did not always take full advantage of the chances presented.
Nonetheless, 10 minutes later some more good French handling put Shannon Izar in for the second French try, before four minutes before the break Lenaig Corson added a third under the posts following some miscommunicated in the Scots line. At half-time it was 17-0 to France, though they should have been further ahead.
The second half began with France taking the first opportunity that came their way, Elodie Poublan touching down under the posts for France’s first bonus-point try, the first score in a period of play that would see six tries in just 22 minutes for the home team, with Elodie Guiglion (48’), Jade Le Pesq (50’ and 53’), Caroline Ladagnous (59’) and Camille Cabalou (64’) all crossing the line.
After this, with most of the leading players being replaced, the game calmed down and – though play was all but exclusively at the Scottish end - no more scores were added. Even so, the final score of 55-0 gave France their sixth consecutive clean-sheet against Scotland, and their third score in excess of 50 against Scotland in five years.
France: 15 Jessy Tremouliere; 14 Elodie Guiglion(T), 13 Caroline Ladagnous(T), 12 Elodie Poublan(T), 11 Shanon Izar(T); 10 Christelle le Duff(2C), 9 Jade le Pesq(2T); 1 Lise Arricastre, 2 Gaelle Mignot (capt), 3 Julie Duval; 4 Lenaig Corson(T), 5 Audrey Forlani; 6 Marjorie Mayans, 7 Romane Menager, 8 Safi N'Diaye(T).
Bench: 16 Caroline Thomas, 17 Annaelle Deshaye, 18 Celine Ferer, 19 Julie Annery, 20 Yanna Rivoalen, 21 Camille Cabalou(T/3C), 22 Marine Menager, 23 Patricia Carricaburu.
Replacements used: Cabalou for le Duff 48, Deshaye for Arricastre 50, M.Menager for Izar 50, Rivoalen for le Pesq 50, Ferer for Corson 55, Annery for N'Diaye 59, Thomas for Mignot 66, Carricaburu for Duval 66.
Tries: 9 - N'Diaye, Izar, Corson, Poublan, Guiglion, le Pesq (2), Ladagnous, Cabalou. Kicking: Tremouliere (Conv 0/1), le Duff (Conv 2/4, Pens 0/1), Cabalou (Conv 3/4).
Scotland: 15 Chloe Rollie; 14 Megan Gaffney, 13 Lisa Thomson, 12 Lisa Martin (capt), 11 Rhona Lloyd; 10 Helen Nelson, 9 Sarah Law; 1 Tracy Balmer, 2 Lana Skeldon, 3 Lindsey Smith; 4 Emma Wassell, 5 Deborah McCormack; 6 Karen Dunbar, 7 Louise McMillan, 8 Jade Konkel.
Bench: 16 Lucy Park, 17 Heather Lockhart, 18 Katie Dougan, 19 Sarah Bonar, 20 Jemma Forsyth, 21 Jenny Maxwell, 22 Lauren Harris, 23 Eilidh Sinclair.
Replacements used: Park for Skeldon 45, Forsyth for Dunbar 45, Lockhart for Balmer 55, Bonar for McCormack 57, Maxwell for Law 57, Dougan for Smith 60, Sinclair for Rollie 60, Harris for Gaffney 70.
Tries: none. Kicking: .
Scoring sequence: 18' N'Diaye (T) 5-0, 28' Izar (T) 10-0, 34' Corson (T) 15-0, le Duff (C) 17-0, 41' Poublan (T) 22-0, le Duff (C) 24-0, 47' Guiglion (T) 29-0, 49' le Pesq (T) 34-0, Cabalou (C) 36-0, 52' le Pesq (T) 41-0, Cabalou (C) 43-0, 58' Ladagnous (T) 48-0, 65' Cabalou (T) 53-0, Cabalou (C) 55-0.
Referee: Tim Baker (Hong Kong). Attendance: 10058.