Marc Lievremont’s tenure as France coach got off to an impressive start with a 27-6 win against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Lievremont promised a return to France’s traditional style of rugby and his new-look side, featuring four debutants, didn’t disappoint. The Tricolores ran the ball from deep inside their own half and even tapped kickable penalties â€“ one which resulted in a try for left wing Julien Malzieu.
Scotland flyhalf Dan Parks opened the scoring with an early drop goal and his tactical kicking kept France inside their half. However, the visitors claimed the lead when right wing Vincent Clerc scored after an inside break from fullback Cedric Heymans and a pass that appeared to go forward.
Malzieu’s kick-and-chase try gave the French a 17-6 lead at half-time, and when Clerc grabbed his second soon after the break, Scotland were dead and buried.
Chris Paterson and Chris Cusiter came close to scoring in the final quarter, but it was France who were on the attack again when the final whistle blew.
Scotland â€“ Penalty: Dan Parks. Drop goal: Parks.
France â€“ Tries: Vincent Clerc (2), Julien Malzieu. Conversions: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (2), David Skrela. Penalties: Damien Traille (2).