The ‘Auld alliance’ between France and Scotland dates back to the 13th century, however both teams would be looking to put this friendship to one side over the weekend, with both Nations looking to bounce back from defeats.
‘Les Bleus’ had a point to prove with defeats to Wales and England respectively and therefore decided to change their backline, benching the Auld guard of Parra and Lopez for some young talent. Luck was not riding with the Scots and had been forced into changes with Hogg and Jones coming off against Ireland, as well as their starting fly-half out injured after being on the receiving end of a concussion with his club in between 6 Nations fixtures, much to the frustration of the National coaching staff and supporters.
The supporters arrived into Edinburgh airport in force all Kilted up in a sea of tartan all excited to travel with the National Team to Paris, with the team more than happy to stop for pictures. With smooth passage at Airport Security and no delays, we were all ready for the weekend. After checking in to the hotel, our clients took the opportunity to go out exploring, some went sightseeing, others went to enjoy the local cuisine, all were enjoying the Parisian sunshine.
Gameday had arrived and Paris was looking its best, 16 degrees and blue sky, the conditions were perfect for some fast-flowing rugby. Many of our supporters decided to join us for our clubhouse event at Corcoran’s pub at the bottom of the Sacre Coeur, climbing the many, many steps. Our VIP guest was Craig Chalmers who took the fans on a trip down memory lane with stories from his career, which included lions tour and winning a Grand slam with those vital points against England. After lots of laughs and many pints later, we made our way to the game. The Scots were taking over Paris with the bagpipes playing ‘Scotland the brave’ and ‘O Flower of Scotland’ much to the fans delight, passers-by even stopped to take photos and video the Scottish culture.
With the game underway, it only took seven minutes for a Scotland scare after a French try was disallowed due to a previous knock on. This should have been the wake-up call for Scotland, however they were still asleep six minutes later when France Scored their first try. France had come out the blocks flying, not allowing Scotland to get their game of free-flowing rugby going. In the 27th minute the Scots did have some good fortune with French winger Yohan Huget sin-binned for a shoulder barge. However, they were unable to exploit their numerical advantage and it was France who scored another try through a cute dink over the Scottish defence.
I’m sure Townsend would have given the Scottish team the hairdryer treatment at half-time after a poor first half performance. However, it seemed to have no effect as France scored again within a minute of the re-start, Huget making amends for his previous sinbin from another dazzling French move. ‘Allez les bleus’ echoing around the Stadium with the fans waving their Tricalore flags. The French went onto score two more tries with the Scots scoring a late consolation try, but it was too little too late, the wait goes for a Scottish victory in Paris.
After a disappointing result, the supporters still enjoyed their remaining time in Paris, with the bagpipes playing and lots of singing late into the night with a slight silver lining of “at least the English lost”.
À bientôt Paris!