6N: France offers Scotland a historic victory and Wales the title

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6N: France offers Scotland a historic victory and Wales the title



PARIS – France offered Scotland a final attempt to lose 27-23 and handed Wales the Six Nations title on Friday.

PARIS – France offered Scotland a final attempt to lose 27-23 and handed Wales the Six Nations title on Friday.
France had the game in hand at 23-20 in added time, but full-back Brice Dulin oddly decided not to kick the ball in contact with the victory assured if he did so.

The Scots exerted tremendous pressure through 22 phases, and left winger Duhan van der Merwe swept into the left corner in the 85th minute for his second try of the night and ensured Scotland’s first triumph in Paris since 1999.

Eleven years after winning the tournament for the last time, France needed a bonus points victory of four tries and a margin of victory of 21 points in the tournament final in an empty Stade de France.

The French had three tries, but they also offered points and possession and finished second, like last year.

France prevented Wales from winning the Grand Slam last weekend with their own winning try – ironically in Dulin – at the Stade de France, but Wayne Pivac’s revitalized unit still ended up winning a second title in three years.

Another tense competition on Friday ended with 14 players on each side for the finals.

Scottish half-butterfly Finn Russell was given a red card and substitute scrum-half Baptiste Serin was sentenced moments later for spoiling the Scottish maul.

The cards arrived too late to make a serious difference in where the title goes.

But the enterprising Scotland of coach Gregor Townsend deserved the victory against a French team affected by the weight of positive expectations, and which returned to the botched mistakes of recent years.

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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press



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