Scot­land crush France’s grand slam dream

Pretoria News - - SPORT -

A red card for a mo­ment of reck­less­ness ended France’s hopes of a Six Na­tions grand slam yes­ter­day, as they lost 28-17 to a clin­i­cal Scot­land in a melt­down with echoes of their ill-dis­ci­plined exit from the World Cup last Oc­to­ber.

The game turned on the ex­pul­sion in the 33rd minute of Mo­hamed Haouas for throw­ing a punch, in an echo of Se­bastien Va­haamahina’s red for an el­bow in the quar­ter-fi­nal de­feat to Wales in Ja­pan, but Les Bleus were in trou­ble be­fore the card. They lost fly­half Ro­main Nta­mack early to a head knock and con­ceded a string of early penal­ties as poor dis­ci­pline re­turned to haunt the tour­na­ment favourites.

Scot­land were ruth­less in their de­ci­sion mak­ing, with Adam Hast­ings kick­ing early points to build a lead be­fore Sean Mait­land bagged a brace of tries and Stuart McI­nally romped over against the tir­ing 14-man France.

France’s fail­ure to se­cure even a bonus point leaves them tied on 13 points with Eng­land, who beat Wales 33-30 in an equally bad-tem­pered clash at Twick­en­ham on Satur­day marred by a red card for try-scorer Manu Tuilagi.

Ire­land are also still in the ti­tle hunt but need to hope they even­tu­ally get to play their fix­ture against Italy, sched­uled for Satur­day but post­poned be­cause of the coro­n­avirus out­break.

Ro­main Nta­mack

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