France 27-10 Scotland: Stuart McInally unsure of when Scots can challenge for title

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland in Paris

Stuart McInally admits he is unsure when Scotland will arrive as a team capable of challenging for the Six Nations title, but believes they are on the right track.

The Scots' miserable away form in the competition continued as they were soundly beaten by France in Paris on Saturday.

McInally, 28, says it's hard to predict when Scotland can become contenders.

"I don't know if I'm honest," he said after featuring in the 27-10 defeat.

"I would love to say that I know for a fact we're really close. I do believe we are in a great place.

"We played some really good rugby in the last 12-24 months that shows we can take on anyone in the world, but we need to start coming into these tournaments and getting wins in France and going down to Twickenham and really making sure we are competing down there. That's how we're going to move forward as a team."

Injuries to a raft of key men such as Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, Hamish Watson and WP Nel severely impacted Scotland's hopes of registering a first win in Paris in two decades.

Even allowing for all the players unavailable, McInally feels his side did not do themselves justice at Stade de France.

"We're really disappointed," said the Edinburgh hooker. "We put a lot into the week of training and we really wanted to come here and win and do something that Scotland haven't done in a long time.

"At half-time we were fairly confident going forward. We knew we were still in the game even though we hadn't played particularly well.

"The disappointing thing was to concede straight after half-time, that was a massive blow for us. That period after half-time, we really wanted to get ourselves back in the game but it was the worst start."

'We're looking to win both of our last two games'

With two defeats from their three matches, and difficult games at home to Wales and away to England to come, Scotland are contemplating the possibility of a desperately poor campaign.

"We came into this tournament with a higher level of expectation than we've had before and that is what makes days like this so disappointing," McInally added.

"You put all your effort into coming here to win, you really believe you can win and you just don't perform - it's just so disappointing.

"We're looking to win both of our last two games, of course we are. Our home record is something we are very proud of. When Wales come up we are going to be better and try and win."

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