Rugby World Cup 2015: Scotland beaten by France in final warm-up
|France (6) 19|
|Try: Nakaitaci Con: Parra Pens: Michalak 3, Spedding|
|Scotland (9) 16|
|Try: Seymour Con: Laidlaw Pens: Laidlaw 3|
A Noa Nakaitaci try denied Scotland their first win in Paris in 16 years in the teams' final World Cup warm-up.
Greig Laidlaw kicked the visitors to a half-time lead after Wesley Fofana had a try disallowed for a forward pass.
Scott Spedding's long-range kick edged France ahead but Tommy Seymour's pace got him on the end of Laidlaw's chip to cross the line.
France fought back and after David Denton was sin-binned, Nakaitaci found space to win it.
Scotland defeated but make significant progress
Scotland were undone by a botched line-out late in the game having survived huge pressure for minutes before. The line-out is a worry but there are so many positives.
Physically, Scotland were excellent, losing little against the French giants. That is significant progress on the Six Nations when they were blown away.
They left this game behind them, but there will be cautious optimism for the big stuff to come.
Both sides ill-disciplined
Both sides struggled to keep their discipline, but it was Scotland who benefited most in the first half as they twice won penalties at the scrum, which aided their momentum.
Frederic Michalak missed an early penalty, and although he would score two more, Laidlaw made no mistake at the other end.
France broke through the dark blue line just once in the first half, with Spedding finding a gap, and it would have been a try had the referee not ruled that Mathieu Bastareaud's pass to Fofana was forward.
Scotland a rock in defence
Scotland did not start the second half well and Michalak drew France level with another penalty.
And when France raced forward on one of their typical counter attacks through Yoann Huget, only a vital challenge from Sean Maitland denied them the lead.
The home side were given further encouragement when Spedding kicked them ahead for the first time in the match from his own half, but within minutes Scotland broke through and scored.
Laidlaw chipped the ball over the defence, Seymour raced through onto the loose ball and cruised over the line.
France responded and put the visitors under immense pressure. Denton was eventually yellow-carded after a series of conceded penalties and Nakaitaci burst through two tackles to score.
Encouraging signs for Vern Cotter
Scotland were dogged and determined amidst a scrappy games in difficult conditions.
What will continue to concern coach Vern Cotter will be the amount mistakes gifted to the opposition.
However, they could still have emerged victorious from Paris. Mark Bennett burst up the middle, but Matt Scott hurled a wild pass into touch when Scotland had men out wide.
Then, when they won a penalty at the end, they could have kicked for a draw. Instead they gambled and defiantly went for the win, but fell short.
Scotland begin their World Cup campaign against Japan at Gloucester's Kingsholm ground on 23 September, before matches against United States, South Africa and Samoa in Pool B.
France: Spedding, Huget, Bastareaud, Fofana, Nakaitaci, Michalak, Tillous-Borde, Ben Arous, Guirado, Slimani, Pape, Flanquart, Dusautoir, Chouly, Picamoles.
Replacements: Dumoulin for Fofana (34), Tales for Michalak (72), Parra for Tillous-Borde (59), Szarzewski for Ben Arous (56), Debaty for Guirado (56), Mas for Slimani (56), Le Roux for Pape (52), Nyanga for Picamoles (65).
Scotland: Maitland, Seymour, Bennett, Scott, Visser, Russell, Laidlaw, Dickinson, Ford, Nel, R. Gray, J. Gray, Wilson, Hardie, Denton.
Replacements: Lamont for Seymour (67), Reid for Dickinson (6), Brown for Ford (64), Welsh for Nel (59), Swinson for J. Gray (62), Strokosch for Wilson (53).
Not Used: Hidalgo-Clyne, Weir.
Sin Bin: Denton (70).
Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).