Scotland 17-14 France: 'Dogged' win bodes well for World Cup, says Hamish Watson

Scotland recovered from a poor first-half performance to edge out France at Murrayfield
Scotland recovered from a poor first-half performance to edge out France at Murrayfield

The "dogged" victory over France proves Scotland have steel to go with their style, says Hamish Watson.

After a battering by the French in Nice last weekend, Gregor Townsend's side were criticised for lacking a Plan B to their high-tempo attacking game.

Watson believes rallying from 14-3 down to eke out a 17-14 home triumph was the perfect response with the World Cup fewer than four weeks away.

"It wasn't the rugby we're sometimes used to at Murrayfield," said Watson.

"We didn't score a load of tries and it wasn't that free-flowing at times, but we did prove we can show a bit of grit and determination.

"We went two tries down, and they were quite soft tries we let in, and mentally you have to try and overcome that. It's hard to come back from that sometimes when you concede a try early and they haven't really had to work for it at all.

"It showed the kind of playing group that we are that we can come back and win a bit doggedly as well at times."

For the third consecutive Test match, the Scots found themselves a try down within two minutes after Damien Penaud picked off Peter Horne's pass to race in.

Penaud added another to leave the Scots in a hole, but tries from Sean Maitland and Chris Harris edged them home for a win that was much needed after the travails of Nice.

"It was really important to get that victory, especially after not doing ourselves justice last weekend. France played really well last weekend and I think it took us a bit by surprise," added Edinburgh flanker Watson.

"This week demanded a performance from us, the player group demanded a performance and we went out there and did that in front of our home crowd."

The Scots now go into back-to-back matches against Georgia. First up is a trip to Tbilisi, after which Townsend will announce his final squad of 31 for the World Cup in Japan.

"It will be a really tough challenge against Georgia in Tbilisi," said Watson.

"It's a really good test for us because it will be similar conditions that we'll come up against in Japan. It will be a pretty hostile crowd and that will be the same sort of reception we'll get when we play Japan.

"We're the first tier-one nation to go over there and their crowd will be right behind them. They're a big, physical team and we'll have to be at our best to win that one and hopefully build confidence into the World Cup."

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