Scotland ‘must be better than hard to beat’, says Townsend after French loss


Scotland v France
Scotland fell short against France at Murrayfield

Scotland must be “better than just being tough to beat”, said head coach Gregor Townsend after a spirited 22-15 loss to France at Murrayfield.

The French can overtake Townsend’s side to win Autumn Nations Cup Group B with victory over Italy next week.

Scotland will be awarded a bonus-point win for their last group game with Fiji, called off because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the tourists’ squad.

“You learn more in defeats,” Townsend told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re better than just being tough to beat.

“We were in the arm wrestle today, the effort was outstanding but to take that next step, we’ve got to take our opportunities and be accurate in those times we have them.”

The sides were tied 12-12 at half-time but France got the crucial try through Virimi Vakatawa in the second period.

The hosts had more possession and territory than France, but created few try-scoring opportunities.

“We played some good rugby in that first half,” Townsend added. “We put them under pressure with our kicking game. France showed their strength at times too.

“It was quite an equal game and one breakthrough really put us on the back foot and we just weren’t accurate enough at times in the last 15, 20 minutes to make the most of the opportunities that did come around.

“Being ahead of the scoreboard certainly made it easier for them just to close things out. It’s frustrating.”

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