Scotland 17-14 France: Gregor Townsend hails comeback win against adversity

Chris Harris scored the match-winning try at Murrayfield
Chris Harris scored the match-winning try at Murrayfield

Head coach Gregor Townsend was delighted with the character shown by Scotland as they recovered from losing two soft tries to beat France.

The Scots trailed 14-3 moments before half-time but hit back with scores from Sean Maitland and Chris Harris to prevail 17-14 at Murrayfield.

France had demolished Scotland 32-3 in Nice last weekend.

"We found a way to win in amongst a lot of adversity," said Townsend, who made 14 changes.

"The collective effort, mindset, commitment was there in the jersey, that was really pleasing to see.

"Losing a try early on, losing another try on our ball, being down at half-time but coming back, losing key players, players playing in different positions near the end, so that's pleasing."

As happened in Nice in the first of four World Cup warm-up Tests, Scotland were behind after a few minutes as Damian Penaud snatched an interception from Peter Horne and ran 50 metres to score under the posts.

Penaud's second try was also a gift, coming after Finn Russell failed to gather a high ball, with Gael Fickou breezing past Ryan Wilson to set up the winger.

"There's a lot to work on, we know that, but that was more like what I thought it would be," added Townsend, who lost Tommy Seymour and Blade Thomson to failed head injury assessments and Sam Skinner to a nasty-looking hamstring problem.

Experienced flankers Wilson and John Barclay ended the game in the second row, with replacement hooker George Turner in the front row.

"Things that you have to deal with, at times it's helter-skelter," said Townsend.

"But it was great to see the crowd getting really behind the team and the players finding that win so we can go to Georgia with at least a win behind us.

"I thought we started really well and we were producing quick ball. It was just a misjudgement on a pass [for the opening try] and last week it was a misjudgement on a line-out throw and we have to deal with that. We have to regroup, stay focused and that's what the players did well today."

Scotland play Georgia in Tbilisi next Saturday and finish their preparations for Japan at home to the same opponents, with Townsend revealing his final World Cup squad in between the two Tests.

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