France were to score four tries and beat Scotland by 21 points to deny the title to Wales, but the visitors surprised their hosts with a 27-23 victory.
Two tries from Van Der Merwe and one from replacement hooker Dave Cherry ensured Scotland’s first win in Paris since 1999, despite wins from Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.
Brice Dulin, Damian Penaud and Swan Rebbadj crossed paths for the hosts, but they never seemed to hold their heads high to deliver a double blow to Wales after drastically denying Wayne’s side Pivac le Grand Slam six days earlier.
It was another rare away win for the Scots following triumphs in Wales and England over the past six months.Read more:
Scotland was quick to put the pressure on and France showed the kind of ambition they would need when they threw up a quick pitch and tried to get out of trouble after Russell threw the ball into touch. two meters from its test line.
The locals quickly exerted some pressure but all they had to show was Romain Ntamak’s penalty in the ninth minute.
Scotland quickly gained the upper hand and twice chose to give two penalties inside the French 22. Hooker George Turner was held back just before the line each time as he charged from the back of the line-up maul, but Van Der Merwe won. the second time in the 15th minute.
There was suspicion of a double move, but referee Wayne Barnes tried without choosing to take a second look.
Russell added the colon and produced another brilliant long kick that held a yard from the try line. The Scots fell on their opponents and Jamie Ritchie forced the penalty from Dulin, which Russell kicked in to put Scotland at seven points.
Another huge touchdown kick from Hogg put France on the back foot, but the hosts reduced the deficit when Ntamak threw in a long-range penalty following a scrum violation.
The home side gained the upper hand around the half hour mark and Scotland gave up a series of penalties in front of the post.
The pressure came on when Van Der Merwe sold too early following a long wide throw from Antoine Dupont. Crestfallen went inside for Dulin to pass in the 36th minute and Ntamack converted brilliantly.
Hogg paid the price for conceding Scotland’s 11th first-half penalty to the last minute, but Nick Haining stole the five-yard line-up throw to keep France’s lead in mid -time to three.
Scotland limited France’s score to five points during Hogg’s passage through the Sin Bin, when Penaud picked up the Virimi Vakatawa offload, threw the ball at Ali Price and landed in the corner.
Scotland regained control after the numbers were equalized. Russell threw a penalty at close range and Sam Johnson was stopped five yards from the line after exploding forward after another successful lineout.
It was France’s turn to send in a series of penalties and Cherry picked up a loose ball after a lineout before widening a gap and more. Russell converted to put Scotland back in the lead.
Rebbadj went over five minutes later but Ntamack missed the conversion and Scotland missed a good opportunity to level up in favor of the throw-in but Cherry’s roster was stolen.
Gregor Townsend’s side were still under pressure when Russell was sent off in the 71st minute after catching Dulin near the throat with his elbow as he attempted to push the full-back off.
Any hope of another superb arrival from France was dashed in two minutes when Baptiste Serin was given a yellow card and Scotland again opted to push for the try instead of going over the posts.
The pressure was relentless and Scotland finally recovered when they found winger Van Der Merwe on the left. Adam Hastings added the points to end a spectacular championship.