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Lopez kicks France to win against Scotland

France’s Gael Fickou scores a try against Scotland, yesterday.

France’s Gael Fickou scores a try against Scotland, yesterday.

France relied on the boot of Camille Lopez as they laboured to a 22-16 home win against Scotland in the Six Nations yesterday.

Fly-half Lopez kicked five penalties and converted Gael Fickou’s try while Scotland’s points came from tries by Stuart Hogg and Tim Swinson and a couple of Finn Russell penalties.

The visitors’ hopes of a first win in Paris since 1999 were undermined when they lost scrum-half Greig Laidlaw to an injury in the first half.

France’s failure to finish off some flowing moves was evident again against the Scots who arrived in bullish mood after a 27-22 defeat of Ireland the week before.

Guy Noves’s team went ahead thanks to Lopez’s first penalty after Scotland went off their feet at the ruck.

Scotland responded when Hogg finished off a fine move on the right but their advantage was shortlived as Lopez kicked another penalty to give Les Bleus a 6-5 lead.

Lopez struck the upright with another penalty attempt before a long spell of French possession ended with Fickou touching down in the right corner and Lopez adding the extras from a tight angle.

Russell reduced the arrears to two points with two penalties shortly before the interval after France were sanctioned for foul play on the ground.

Scotland began to sense a victory when Tommy Seymour chipped the ball ahead and when France’s Scott Spedding failed to gather it the winger released Swinson for Scotland’s second try. Lopez made it 16-16 with a penalty.

The home side put Scotland on the back foot with strong ball-carrying runs but once again fell short as centre Remi Lamerat spilled the ball over the line.

Lopez, however, restored the advantage with a penalty and added another one three minutes from time to secure a tight win.

Standings: England (2-0-0) 8; Ireland (1-0-1) 6; Wales (1-0-1) 5; France (1-0-1) 5; Scotland (1-0-1) 5; Italy (0-0-2) 0.

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