Six Nations: France 22-16 Scotland

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first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Highlight What warmed the cockles and what made us squirm at the Stade de France Tries: Hogg, Swinson. Pens: Russell 2.That man again: Stuart Hogg dives over for Scotland’s first try – and so join elite company (Getty)For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Done it! France celebrate their first Six Nations victory since round two last year (Icon Sport/Getty) Scotland’s 18-year wait for victory in Paris continues but they took huge credit from this gripping Six Nations encounter.Locked at 16-16 for most of the second half, it took two late Camille Lopez penalties to see les Bleus home in a match that, at times, was played at a breathless pace.Once again in this Six Nations that keeps giving, there were skills and thrills, controversy and comical moments. Here’s our verdict on the match…WHAT’S HOTEntertainment – The attacking intent from both teams was clear from the start. What a delight to see players ready to throw the ball around without fear.Is this because of the new bonus-point system? That may be playing a part, but more significant surely is the example set by New Zealand’s back-to-back world champions. The old safety-first approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.Here to play: Finn Russell offloads to Josh Strauss as Scotland take the game to the French (Getty)Alex Dunbar – Injuries have restricted the Scotland centre to 21 caps but he’s back at full throttle and must be in the frame for Lions selection.His defensive work is exceptional, Will Greenwood tweeting “He would tackle an elephant who caught you trying to steal his breakfast!”Furthermore, having given us a cheeky lineout try last week, this time he had the nous to chuck away a Frenchman’s boot after it came off in the early moments!Fraser Brown was another immense performer, his turnover after Louis Picamoles’s early line break setting the tone for a heroic defensive effort by the visitors.Big shift: Scottish hooker Fraser Brown lines up Louis Picamoles (Getty)Lucky bounces – One day after a wicked bounce from CJ Stander’s kick in Rome set up a try for Craig Gilroy came another delicious moment.At least for Tim Swinson, the man to profit after Tommy Seymour’s kick left Scott Spedding stranded. Seymour regathered and found Swinson – who had only just appeared as a replacement – haring up in support.It was the Glasgow lock’s first Test try and put Scotland in front three minutes into the second half. Unfortunately for Vern Cotter’s men, it started to unravel from that very moment on…A moment to savour: Tim Swinson’s first Test try, on his 27th appearance, has Scotland celebratingWHAT’S NOTThe missed conversion – It will never be as famous as Don Fox’s Wembley miss for Wakefield in the 1968 Challenge Cup final, but Finn Russell’s failed conversion has been all over social media.Players have 90 seconds to take a conversion and Russell, clearly rushing, struck the toppling ball after 45 seconds. So if Jaco Peyper was telling him to hurry up he was wrong to do so.The miss, in front of the posts, didn’t cost Scotland a losing point but it occurred with the game very much in the balance. Such incidents can alter the momentum.“Look, he missed it!” FFR president Bernard Laporte and France president Francois Hollande (Getty)Head knocks – Has one team ever been so unfortunate with knocks to the head? Scotland lost John Barclay before the break after he failed an HIA, then his replacement, John Hardie, quickly followed suit after colliding with Loann Goujon.Alex Dunbar then had to go off for an HIA that he passed, before Fraser Brown became a fourth ‘victim’.It wasn’t just that Scotland lost players – and remember, too, that Greig Laidlaw’s ankle injury deprived Scotland of their captain and goalkicker – it was the disruption.Scotland wanted to impose a high tempo to test the running fitness of the big French forwards, but the game’s stop-start nature in the third quarter mitigated against that. Cast member: Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw faces a race against time to make the Wales game (Getty)Rejecting the points – Poor decision-making is proving contagious. Wales, with the unerring Leigh Halfpenny in their ranks, spurned kicks at goal against England and at Stade de France it was France who repeatedly declined a three-point gift with the score at 16-16.“Why wouldn’t you take the easy three points, France?” tweeted Andy Goode, reflecting the views of all.In the end, Scotland’s tiring scrum – what a loss WP Nel has been to them this year – meant France earned further chances, which Lopez (six kicks from seven) took.Making them pay: Camille Lopez landed all but one long-range penalty in a 17-point display (Getty)A rush of blood – You need a very good reason to justify doing something that leads to a penalty reversal. Ali Price doesn’t have it.Scotland’s reserve scrum-half objected to Camille Lopez hanging onto the ball after France had been penalised in Scottish territory for crossing, and duly shoved him.A crazy moment. Penalty to France and a chance for Lopez to extend the lead to 9-5, although in the event it struck the post.This was only Price’s second Test, after a replacement role against Georgia in the autumn, and he will learn quickly that you don’t give away soft penalties. Especially at places like the Stade de France.Stepping up: Ali Price played most of the match – and did okay after his early aberration (Getty)STATISTICS15 – Number of tackles made by Fraser Brown, the joint highest in the match with France’s Sebastien Vahaamahina5 – Stuart Hogg became the fifth Scotsman to score a try in four successive Six Nations matches, joining the likes of Eric Liddell and Gregor Townsend in that achievement2 – Number of Scotland wins against France this century – out of 20 attempts13 – Number of line breaks in the match28 – Number of offloads made, with France making 18 of them9 – Number of Test points Finn Russell had kicked prior to taking over the tee after Greig Laidlaw’s injury. He added two penalties24 years 233 days – Stuart Hogg’s age on the day he became the youngest of the 40 Scots to reach 50 Test capsFrance: S Spedding; N Nakaitaci, R Lamerat, G Fickou, V Vakatawa (Y Huget 52); C Lopez, B Serin (M Machenaud 55); C Baille (X Chiocci 58), G Guirado (capt, C Tolofua 71), U Atonio (R Slimani 44), S Vahaamahina, Y Maestri (J Le Devedec 58), L Goujon (D Chouly 44-47, 59),  Gourdon, L Picamoles.Try: Fickou. Con: Lopez. Pens: Lopez 5.Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland, H Jones, A Dunbar (M Bennett 56-61), T Seymour; F Russell (D Weir 74), G Laidlaw (capt, A Price 24)); A Dell (G Reid 44), F Brown (R Ford 66), Z Fagerson (S Berghan 58), R Gray, J Gray, J Barclay (J Hardie 35, T Swinson 41), H Watson, J Strauss.last_img read more

Blues show St Mary’s no mercy

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first_imgThanks to truly top–class performances from Tom Hicks and Huw Jones Oxford crushed a good St. Mary’s side that ran them close last year. The pitch was low and slow but St. Mary’s got off the mark well in the first two overs, driving sweetly and clipping off the pads solidly. Alan Gofton and Toby Sharpe tidied up their act and the runs soon dried up: when the fielding restrictions were lifted, they were only on 33, barely over two an over. Then Tom Hicks reeled off his 10 overs unchanged, first taking an energetic caught and bowled off a mistimed slog-sweep, later a fanatastic hard-hit low chance back to him. Giving the batsmen nothing hittable, he did not conceed a boundary, and finished with 10–2–17–3 after dismissing their number 5 for 0 lbw. The slow scoring of St. Mary’s was partially due to their chunky opener James Watson, who typified all that could go wrong with limited overs cricket. He did not hit out during the first fifteen, instead choosing to play himself in, then did not accelerate the scoring, did not scamper cheeky singles, but simply waited for his own runs to come and be given to him. This abhorrent self-aggrandisement led Watson to 56 and he did not look like he was even playing for his team, with more inward reflection than happy celebration when getting to his fifty. Upon his fall the lower order enlivened matters, running well between the wickets and taking the OUCCE bowlers on. The graceful reverse sweep by Surrey–contracted Tim Murtagh off ex-colleague Joe Porter typified this rally and left Oxford 155 to win. St. Mary’s openers Robbie Joseph, a Kent 2nds player, and Murtagh were hostile and aggressive and it was a very good contest against Joe Sayers and Huw Jones. There were runs to be had from the wicket though, and when Jones lofted Murtagh over extra cover in the eighth over, the tension was released. The pair banished the memories of last week’s failed century stand with an enjoyable 120 partnership, as Sayers hit the ball crisply square of the wicket and Jones was good in the “v” between extra cover and midwicket. The other St. Mary’s bowlers lacked penetration, struggled for a rhythm and were not consistent enough to trouble the dark blues. Dalrymple finished matters with 20 of 21 balls while there was more than a hour to play. Some of the early season promise is now coming through, which can only be a good thing going into the county match, in 3rd week against Gloucestershire, the last first–class game before the 4-day Varsity match scheduled for the end of June.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

October’s Bakers’ Fair is on its way

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first_imgThe annual Bakers’ & Butchers’ Fair is fast approaching and with it, your chance to prove you make Britain’s Best Loaf.At the event on 12 October the winner of our Best Loaf competition will be announced at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire following a rigorous judging panel chaired by baking industry veteran Colin Lomax.Martyn Leek, editor of British Baker, said: “Britain’s Best Loaf had huge support from the baking community last year for an inaugural competition and I am sure this year will see the same positive response.”The show also gives bakers the chance to face off against their butcher rivals with the return of the National Pie Competition.Apart from the invitation to prove your baking prowess, the show gives bakers an unmissable opportunity to view a host of products and services at the exhibition to better enhance their businesses.Demonstrations from expert bakers will also be a highlight with a representative from Birds of Derby and Chris Foxall of The Village Bakery Group among those on hand to inspire delegates.TV favourite Keith Chegwin, famous for programmes like Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Cheggers Plays Pop, will present awards in the Britain’s Best Loaf and National Pie competitions. He will also be available to mingle and interact with visitors.There is still time to enter both contested competitions with a deadline for entries of 3 October and information on how to be in with a chance at www.bakersandbutchersfair.co.uk.last_img read more

Forster enjoying life at Saints

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first_imgAdam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw may have left Southampton in the summer, but Fraser Forster credits the England trio for helping him take up the “fantastic opportunity” to move to St Mary’s. Press Association But, even though the season may still be in its infancy, such talk already looks wide of the mark, with Tuesday’s 2-1 Capital One Cup win at Arsenal making it five successive wins in all competitions. That form sees Ronald Koeman’s men sit second in the Barclays Premier League, with the Dutchman making light work of blending in eight summer acquisitions. “The atmosphere in the training room is something really special,” summer signing Forster said. “There is a real kind of togetherness. Everyone is a great lad. “As soon as you walk in the door you’re made to feel really welcome, that is key when you come to a new club, everyone helps you settle. “There is that real togetherness and that eagerness for the players to perform and to help each other out. We’ve all settled really quickly. “It’s been a great start, but it’s only a start and it’s important we keep moving forward.” Forster left behind Champions League football with Celtic to move south of the border, with the £10million deal making him the most expensive British goalkeeper of all-time. He insists the move was not related to ambitions of usurping Joe Hart as England’s number one, but instead more about the chance to try his hand at top-flight football in his homeland. Saints endured a summer of upheaval, with manager Mauricio Pochettino swiftly followed out of the door by a host of key players. Lallana, Lambert and Dejan Lovren all joined Liverpool, while Shaw moved to Manchester United and Calum Chambers left for Arsenal. In the wake of the exodus l eading bookmakers dramatically cut the odds on the south coast side being relegated. “For me, it’s important to come down and play Premier League football,” Forster said. “Just to come and do as well as I can for Southampton, first and foremost. “I felt it was the right time and it was a fantastic opportunity and one that I could never have turned down. “It’s a fantastic club to play for and everyone said that. I spoke to Adam Lallana quite a lot in the summer and as soon as the opportunity arose he was very complimentary about the club and said I’d love it. “I’m delighted that was the choice I made. It’s important that I play well week by week and see where it takes me.” Lallana, Shaw and Lambert all spoke glowingly about Saints, with the latter’s success something he would love to replicate. “Five years ago me and Rickie were at Bristol Rovers,” Forster said. “It’s been good to be at a World Cup together five years on. “He’s a top player. He sums up what you can do at this club. He’s really performed well. He’s been an absolute legend for this club coming up through the divisions. “I can’t speak highly enough of the England boys who were here last season and they have not got a bad word to say about the place. They will be the first ones to say what a fantastic club it is to play for.” last_img read more