France edge past Scotland
France finally collected their first win of the RBS 6 Nations campaign as two quickfire tries proved decisive against Scotland.
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The visitors to Paris had shown guts and determination to hold off continued French assaults in the opening 40 minutes but the pressure finally took its toll as Wesley Fofana and Maxime Medard crossed over for converted scores within four second-half minutes.
Scotland had led early from the boot of Greig Laidlaw and were tied at 9-9 as the Edinburgh scrum-half and French playmaker Frederic Michalak exchanged penalties before the home tries arrived.
A late Tim Visser touchdown gave the scoreline a more respectable look than was perhaps deserved but last year's wooden spoon winners can at least console themselves with the a third-place finish in the championships - their best result since 2006.
Scotland lock Jim Hamilton wants the team's younger players to learn the lessons of their 23-16 loss to France in their RBS Six Nations finale in Paris.
Scotland led 6-0 at the break but France scored two tries in the space of five minutes just after the hour mark to seize control.
"I think naturally we're pretty disappointed," Hamilton said on BBC2. "We thought we could come here and win, that was our mindset going into the game and for 60 minutes we were right in the game.
"Then the tide turned slightly, we've fallen off the tackles and they've got dominance in the scrum, and that's been the turning point.
"We've got to take a lot out of that. We've had a decent tournament, the defence has been outstanding at times, but we've just got to get better every time we play.
"We're on an upward curve, and trying to learn all the time. We've got new guys in the team, stepping up and doing well, but there's a lot of work to do with a big tour coming in the summer."
Caretaker coach Scott Johnson insists Scotland cannot accept half-measures if they are to shake off their tag as international rugby's nearly men.
He said: "We defended really well tonight - I thought we were great in our resolve. But we let ourselves down in other areas.
"However, I asked the guys at the start of the tournament not to send me out to defend the indefensible. But that never happened. They never put me in that position.
"From a progress point of view, I look at some things and say 'Gee that is fantastic' and then the next day I am disappointed.
"I was really, really proud of our defence tonight. That was superb. But we let ourselves down in some of our kick-return stuff. We dropped a lot of balls and put ourselves under pressure."
France boss Philippe Saint-Andre had been under pressure after his side lost their first three games of the championship, with their best result before Scotland's visit a 13-13 draw with Ireland.
Saint-Andre said: "It was a difficult match but it had been a reflection of where we had been in the tournament this year.
"We made many opportunities in the first half but we were not patient enough.
"In the second half we scored two great tries but we are still last in the tournament and we have to accept that."