Gregor Townsend plays down Scotland's 6 Nations defeat to Wales

12 February 2018, 01:02 | Robert Harris

Lawrence Dallaglio February 4 2018 12:01am The Sunday Times England on red alert after emphatic victory by Dragons Lawrence Dallaglio

Lawrence Dallaglio February 4 2018 12:01am The Sunday Times England on red alert after emphatic victory by Dragons Lawrence Dallaglio

"We are looking forward to putting in a performance that can energise our supporters", said Townsend.

The alarmingly passive and inaccurate nature of the Scotland performance at the Principality Stadium has caused some to reassess their view of the team's recent progress and their credentials as genuine Six Nations contenders.

Last year's encounter between the two sides at the Stade de France was ultimately decided by the boot of Camille Lopez who finished his afternoon's work with 17 points.

Sportsmail's GLEN WILLIAMS will be bringing you all the live action with updates from RORY KEANE at Murrayfield.

He said: "They were very unlucky".

Scotland had the momentum and took the lead with ten minutes to go as the French exhausted, scoring again thanks to Laidlaw's reliable right boot.

Now the 64-year-old is hoping his tweaked XV will return France to winning ways for the first time since their 20-18 victory against Wales in Paris on the final day of the 2017 Six Nations. "But as players we've got to handle that pressure better".

Scotland team: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Peter Horne (all Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens); Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont-Auvergne); Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan; Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors); John Barclay (Scarlets, captain), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Scotland's Finn Russell is tackled by Arthur Iturria and Baptiste Serin of France. "We put a team out to perform".

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"He ran a couple of plays there this morning".

He is a more pragmatic nine to Ali Price and has the kicking game to give Scotland territory - but Russell will also need quick ball if he is to spark the back-line and that is the big question mark hanging over Laidlaw.

France coach Jacques Brunel is backing Beauxis to replicate that form in the Six Nations.

Scotland, though, were proving harder to shake off than last week and hit back again on 31 minutes. That can take a lot out of them, if that's the strategy they want to play. Four minutes later Laidlaw slotted his fifth penalty kick in a row to cut the buffer back to three points once more.

With just two minutes on the clock French wing Teddy Thomas evaded three challenges on his way to scoring.

"You have to be tough to beat and we weren't at the weekend".

But away form has always been Scotland's Achilles heel in the Six Nations and their Championship started with a 34-7 thrashing by Wales in Cardiff last Saturday, where only Pete Horne's late try saw Townsend's men avoid the embarrassment of failing to score any points at all.

What time does Scotland v France kick off?

David Denton and Blair Kinghorn both come on to the replacements' bench, with the latter set for his worldwide debut. And if that game plan can work against the Australians, it can work against anyone in world record, including, dare we say, Jones' England.



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