England vs Wales LIVE: Six Nations rugby result, final score and reaction today

·42 min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Maro Itoje tumbled out of the breakdown and came up with the ball, and finally it was over. This was not a game for the rugby aesthete, nor truly one for the rugby purist, but eventually a competitive Six Nations game broke down after the first half errata. Eventually, it was England and Itoje who clung on to hold off a double Welsh fight-back and keep faint title hopes alive in a messy affair.

This had been billed as knockout rugby but the early rounds were contested of squabbles and sloppy punches thrown against the ropes. It was a first half played in bits and pieces, rather stumbling across the broken bric-a-brac of scruffy breakdowns and slap-dash set-pieces, with scrums contested in the abstract as both front rows did everything they could except drive legally, often before the ball could be put in.

This meant that a Twickenham crowd afforded a Six Nations viewing since the last time these two teams met here never really had reason to rise to their feet. Shorn of Manu Tuilagi just eight hours after naming the centre among a Six Nations side for the first time since that fixture two years ago, Eddie Jones promoted Elliot Daly from the bench with Joe Marchant hastily called in to replace him among the substitutes after a single day of Friday training – team news belatedly confirmed with little less than an hour to play until kick-off.

There were fleeting glimpses from both sides in attack, and though Alex Cuthbert looked a danger when afforded space and time with ball in hand, it was more often than not England playing with definite adventure and accuracy.

Follow all the latest reaction and analysis:

England vs Wales

  • 5 min: Two penalties at the breakdown kicked by Marcus Smith, England 6-0 Wales

  • 21 min: Liam Williams sent to sin-bin for interfering on the floor

  • 40+1 min: Smith adds two more penalties before half-time, England 12-0 Wales

  • 44 min: TRY - Dombrandt powers over following a line-out

  • 53 min: TRY - Adams claims Wales’ first score after a quick move

  • 60 min: TRY - Tompkins claims a quickfire second to put Wales back in it

  • 67 min: Smith kicks two more penalties to open up 11-point lead

  • 82 min: TRY - Hardy’s late score makes for a nervy finish

  • England beat Wales in tense Six Nations clash

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

19:11 , Sarah Rendell

Thank you so much for joining me for a cracking match between England and Wales.

It was Marcus Smith’s boot that gave England a 12-0 lead at half-time but scores from Dombrandt, Tompkins and Hardy brought some excitement into the match.

Wales had one last roll of the dice when Lawes had a deliberate knock-on but Itoje turned it over with late drama at Twickenham. The Six Nations weekend isn’t over as Ireland take on Italy tomorrow but for now have a read of Harry Latham-Coyle’s report to digest that thriller.

Marcus Smith kicks England to victory over Wales in tense Six Nations clash

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

19:07 , Sarah Rendell

Ben Youngs has broken Jason Leonard’s men’s cap record after being subbed on for Harry Randall in the second half. He now has 115 caps under his belt.

But if he wants to break the all-time cap record, held by Rochelle Clark, he’ll have to play another 22 matches for England! And he’ll have to fight off Sarah Hunter as the Red Roses captain is closing in on the record herself with 130 to her name.

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

19:01 , Sarah Rendell

One thing which will be worrying for England is the injury of Luke Cowan-Dickie. The hooker was subbed in the first half with a knee injury and he was in crutches in the post-match huddle.

The Exeter man, if he cannot play in the rest of the championship, will be replaced in the starting shirt by Jamie George. But will this open the door for Jamie Blamire?

We will have to wait and see. There’s another fallow week so it will be another long wait!

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

18:57 , Sarah Rendell

It was a huge resilient effort for England to close out that game. Though Lawes did concede the penalty in the end, the England team of a few years ago may have blown the end of that game.

Wales can take huge positives from the loss though. Cuthbert is back to his best, Biggar continues to fill Alun Wyn Jones’ captaincy well and they have big ball carriers. If they were able to find Basham in the first half to give him a walk-in try who knows how the match would have ended.

It’s very similar to the earlier match when Stuart Hogg came close to scoring just before half-time. That would’ve given Scotland the lead before the break but instead France closed out a 36-17.

The championship can be won by England, Ireland and France but after today France will still have the favourites tag.

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

18:52 , Sarah Rendell

The match ran over that much it has eaten up the interview time and so we haven’t heard from anyone from the Welsh camp unfortunately.

If I see any updates on social media I shall update you, so confused by that referee decision and I need someone to discuss it!

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

18:51 , Sarah Rendell

I’m surprised Smith wasn’t asked about Lawes, I think the coaches will be and I’ll bring you all of that when we hear from them.

At any point of the game a deliberate knock-on would have seen him be shown yellow. But he stayed on for that last period.

The result means Wales won’t defend their title as two losses usually sees a team not lift the trophy. Can Wales do England or Ireland a favour and beat them next time out? If Wales scalp France the championship could be won by anyone.

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

18:48 , Sarah Rendell

Player of the Match Marcus Smith told ITV: “It was a bit shaky towards the end. We know how proud the Welsh team are and the leaders spoke well. It was close but we got the job done.

“I thought the forward pack put us on the front foot, Rands [Harry Randall] played well.

“Luckily we built enough of a lead and we will look at the second half in the fallow week.”

Full-time: England 23-19 Wales

18:46 , Sarah Rendell

Wales were hammering us but Itoje does a fantastic job to turn the ball over! Youngs kicks the ball off and it is all over.

The first half was all Smith’s boot but it was the second half that set this match on fire. Dombrandt scored and then Tompkins and Hardy put Wales’ hopes up.

They just couldn’t get it over the line in the end. England can still win the Six Nations but France will have to lose a match in order to do so. Wales are unlikely get their hands on the trophy now.

84’ England 23-19 Wales

18:43 , Sarah Rendell

Wales are looking for the winner here, imagine if they are able to do this. It would be unbelievable.

The clock is in the red and they are going here, England fans are you getting nervous yet?

They keep battering on the door and England are doing well not to concede a penalty. Williams does so so well to stay on pitch but it looked like they spilt the ball but Lawes may have deliberately knocked this on.

It’s been judged as a knock on, Wales will go again but why is Lawes still on the field? Surely that should have been a yellow card.

TRY! England 23-19 Wales (Hardy, 80’)

18:38 , Sarah Rendell

Wales are on the prowl for a losing bonus point here, if they come within seven of England they will get a point.

And they do! Hardy took a penalty quickly and he dances around the players to bag a point for Wales.

79’ England 23-12 Wales

18:36 , Sarah Rendell

Wales continue to hammer the English defence and Marler gives away a penalty. There’s a break in play as Adams and Rowlands are receiving medical attention.

Adams has had to go off for a HIA and L Williams is back on the field.

Player of the Match has been given to Marcus Smith for pulling strings for England, he’s having a great tournament so far.

78’ England 23-12 Wales

18:34 , Sarah Rendell

A scrum from that knock on from Wales sees England come out on top again, something has clicked in the forwards.

They launch an attack but Wales do enough at the breakdown to turn the ball over. Biggar kicks upfield and will build from a line-out.

The set-piece is clean but England won it fairly and kick it away. Simmonds has played well since coming on, it’s good to see him getting some game time.

Wales now building, can they get something else here to push the match all the way?

75’ - England 23-12 Wales

18:30 , Sarah Rendell

Williams is off for Anscombe as Wales ring in the changes and the change means Biggar is temporarily at full-back.

Adams’ dancing feet tries to get around the defence but Daly brings him down. A lot of big hits coming in this set of attack and every time Adams gets the ball he is smothered in England shirts.

The phases go into double phases but they spill the ball in a disappointing moment for the visitors.

A break in play sees Marchant on for Daly.

PENALTY - England 23-12 Wales (Smith, 72’)

18:27 , Sarah Rendell

England intent on chipping away at the scoreboard as they go for the sticks and Smith slices it home.

Important closing moments as Genge goes off for Marler.

71’ - England 20-12 Wales

18:25 , Sarah Rendell

Lake, Davies and Hardy are on for Williams and Watkin (I missed the last name, will update as soon as I get that) as they try and find the win here.

England win their first scrum of the match after poor performances at the set piece so far. Slade kicks up field and England will have to build from around halfway.

Another change for Wales as Moriarty is off for Davies.

The line-out is dropped by Isiekwe but he only drops it as Beard makes contact with it so the penalty goes England’s way. Smith goes for the sticks

PENALTY - England 20 - 12 Wales (Smith, 67’)

18:22 , Sarah Rendell

A prolonged England attack involving the whole team goes beyond 10 phases and the Welsh defence holds strong. It intimidates England and they spill the ball and now Wales are the ones on the attack.

But England then getting a penalty with Nowell smothering Cuthbert to get the turn over. I’m honestly warn out watching this frantic match!

That has given England a kickable penalty and Smith kicks England beyond a converted try. Stuart and Isiekwe on for Ewels and Sinckler.

65’ England 17-12 Wales

18:19 , Sarah Rendell

Ben Youngs is on for Harry Randall to become England men’s most capped player of all time. Jones calling on experience to see out this match.

A huge tackle on Sinckler marches him back a few metres and with England not having a go forward Smith kicks. Dombrandt collects but they knock on and Wales clear their lines.

England back in possession but the ruck ball is so slow. Another high kick for England sees Malins collect, he has been impressive with high ball today. But another kick sees Wales back with the ball, a long passage of play as Wales kick away.

TRY! England 17-12 Wales (Tompkins, 59’)

18:15 , Sarah Rendell

Faletau and Tompkins get close to the line as Wales recycle the ball to try and get themselves within a score of England.

And then Tompkins gets there, he weaves his way around and reaches out for a fabulous try. Wow! What a match we have on our hands.

Biggar is good with the kick!

59’ - England 17-5 Wales

18:12 , Sarah Rendell

Brown is on for Francis and Morgan is on for Basham. Interesting taking Basham off at this point, he has played well so far and almost had a try.

England now with the ball and Genge makes a great carry but it ends up in Wales possession. Adams sprints away, what a player he is, and kicks it. Adams doesn’t get to it but Wales jump on it and win a penalty.

They kick to the corner, stamping their intent, and another clean line-out sees them attempt to maul but it collapses legally. They are on the charge and get another penalty - surprised the ref hasn’t sent a warning yet.

TRY! England 17-5 Wales (Adams. 54’)

18:07 , Sarah Rendell

The ball is kicked through and Cuthbert sprints after it. Malins comes across and smothers the ball as Wales start to get a foot back into this, a try feels like it is coming.

Elias throws a good line-out this time and they are battering the England defence. Itoje again puts in a huge hit but it’s not enough to snuff out the danger for the hosts.

A quick sets of passes sees Josh Adams run in for Wales’ first points. That was a great series of play and fast pace which has put them back in this.

Biggar misses the conversion.

53’ - England 17-0 Wales

18:05 , Sarah Rendell

Basham had his arm out, he would have ran in but the ball can’t be recycled to him. More heartbreak for Wales as England turn it over and kick away.

That is a relief for England as Wales looked dangerous, if Basham got the ball he would have been in.

A huge hit from Itoje as Wales again look to attack but Dombrandt has won a turn over. At the moment everything is going against Wales with Slade clearing the lines.

But this time England’s line-out goes awry and they win a penalty to boot it away. Back and forth with England absorbing pressure.

49’ England 17-0 Wales

18:02 , Sarah Rendell

T Williams looks to strike back with a great break and Wales now putting it through the hands. The hosts manage to get the ball back with a knock on from Wales to see the ball at halfway.

Wales’ line-out this time is clean and they look to score their first points of the match - still camping at halfway. Wales win another penalty and it is another scrum - have England’s problems been fixed? No they haven’t with Genge giving away the penalty this time.

Biggar kicks upfield and Elias’ line-out almost went awry but Wales collect. They are on the attack now, testing England’s defence.

TRY - England 17-0 Wales (Dombrandt, 43’)

17:57 , Sarah Rendell

England start brightly with a great break from Malins and the ball goes through the hands.

A sloppy pass almost gifts the ball to Wales but England retain the ball. The initial fast paced attack has been slowed down by Wales, particularly good from Rowlands.

It is slow from the ruck, England need some pace. Smith decides enough is enough and kicks away which gifts the opposition a line-out.

An error at the Wales line-out sees Dombrandt capitalise and powers over. It’s a first Test try for the Harlequins man. His club teammate Smith misses the conversion.

40’ - England 12-0 Wales

17:53 , Sarah Rendell

We are back underway at Twickenham!

Can England see this one out or can Wales come back?

England have made a change, Sam Simmonds has replaced Tom Curry. Unsure if that’s tactical or for an injury. Wales unchanged.

Half-time: England 12-0 Wales

17:45 , Sarah Rendell

There have been some stand-out stars on both sides of the game and despite Wales being behind, I think they have the best player on the pitch in terms of performance.

Alex Cuthbert is having a superb match, winning his battle with Nowell and making cracking breaks. He is hungry to impress on his 50th cap and Nowell must be feeling it out there.

For England, Lawes and Curry have been good but the star at the moment for me is Randall. Eddie Jones took a lot of flack for choosing him over Ben Youngs but he has been superb with quick ball.

Half-time: England 12-0 Wales

17:39 , Sarah Rendell

This has been a frantic match with both defences holding strong as there have not been a try yet.

England’s scrum has been sloppy but Wales’ penalty count has been their Achilles heel and the hosts have capitalised. Smith has kick four of five penalties and every time there has been an option to take the points or go to the corner England have opted for the sticks.

This game could still go either way but the momentum is with England as things stand.

PENALTY - England 12-0 Wales (Smith 40+1’)

17:37 , Sarah Rendell

England were getting inches closer to the line with spectacular break from the likes of Smith and Randall.

The penalty advantage was over but Moriarty gets in the way at the ruck and gifts England a pen. Smith points to the sticks and the last action of this half will be his kick.

It’s good! England holding all the keys in this fixture.

40’ - England 9-0 Wales

17:35 , Sarah Rendell

George throws the line-out and Itoje catches. The hosts look to create a maul to charge over but Wales do enough to smother the ball and win the penalty. Cracking job for Wales with returning Falatau getting that one.

Now it’s a Wales line-out and it’s clean as the visitors look to get some points on the board. Tomos Williams box kicks and Nowell collects - the ball exchanging hands so quickly.

Smith kicks away and L Williams catches, slow ruck ball from Wales is silencing any attack they’ll want. Wales kick away and England now have it, this game needs an injection of something with both defences holding strong so far!

England have a penalty advantage for a Welsh error on the floor.

36’ - England 9-0 Wales

17:31 , Sarah Rendell

Wales were getting into their 22 and they pass out wide to Basham but Daly makes a great tackle to stifle the move.

England get the ball back and Steward wallops it up the pitch and Biggar then kicks it away. England going through the phases now and Slade has kicked a beautiful 50:22, take a bow!

He has put England in a great position with Smith praising his teammate. There’s a small break in play ahead of the English line-out.

34’ - England 9-0 Wales

17:28 , Sarah Rendell

It’s cray to think we are closing in on half-time already! This has been a tense contest so far and while the scoreline suggests England are the better, Wales have been good.

Wales now on the attack, Cuthbert fends off Nowell but is brought down. The Welshman winning the contest between the wingers so far.

Adams spills the ball but Wales get a penalty advantage and with another spill they kick upfield.

You guessed it, there’s another scrum! Wales have the put in and win the ball - the scrum is England’s Achilles heel at the moment. Wales now on the attack

PENALTY - England 9-0 Wales (Smith, 31’)

17:25 , Sarah Rendell

Ah yet another scrum, it’s going to be one of those games isn’t it. The ball comes out and Biggar kicks across field with Adams and Malins up to contest. They both fall to the floor and it end in a Welsh line-out.

Tomos Francis is back as he has passed his HIA, so Leon Brown off for now.

England manage to claim the ball back and they run it wide in their latest attack. Randall kicks and Nowell chases but Cuthbert comes off the better. Basham ends up with the ball but is hit by Curry and Lawes to win the ball back. What a hit!

Another penalty for England and they point to the sticks - a long way out but in front of the posts. Similar to the one Smith kicked to beat South Africa in the autumn.

Williams back on from his yellow now.

28’ - England 6-0 Wales

17:21 , Sarah Rendell

Lawes is staying on but Cowan-Dickie is off with a knee injury. Jamie George is now on and Watkin is back after his blood replacement.

Another scrum gets us back underway and England come away with the ball. They launch their players forward and will try and find the first try of the match. Daly spots a gap and he kicks a cracking ball. Wales try to go quickly on the line-out but he pulls them back.

The visitors have a clean line-out and clear their lines with Nowell collecting. England players put it through the hands and Malins spills the ball.

Wales are charging for the line now but they then spill it! This is frantic, it’s hard to keep up with it all!

25’ - England 6-0 Wales

17:16 , Sarah Rendell

England aren’t with the ball long with Basham claiming it and steaming away. But then Wales knock it on, this is pinballing around.

Lawes went down but I’m unsure what the problem is, Cowan-Dickie is also down. A break in play while they get medical attention.

A fun stat while we wit for it to get underway again, England have had 70% possession so far.

24’ - England 6-0 Wales

17:13 , Sarah Rendell

Before the scrum gets underway Tomos Francis is off with a HIA so Leon Brown is on.

Wales had another good scrum with Biggar coming into cheer his players on. They reset, England’s set-piece has been incredibly poor so far and the referee are now having a word with the players as he is getting frustrated with the start stop.

Wales get the scrum penalty and it’s against Sinckler. The scrum really isn’t functioning for England and the opportunity for the hosts evaporates.

The visitors now trying to build from deep but they kick away and England build

YELLOW CARD - England 6-0 Wales (Williams, 21’)

17:09 , Sarah Rendell

They haven’t scored here, it was a spectacular tackle on Charlie Ewels with a hand under the ball.

Ollie Watkin is going off for a blood replacement as it pours from his eye, so Jonathan Davies is one the pitch.

There’s a big break in play and now the TMO wants to check how the ball was dislodged. If Williams has done something illegal here it will be reversed and he could see the bin. He has had some contact with the ball which spoiled a try scoring opportunity so he is sent to the bin.

England penalty to come - scrum.

21’ - England 6-0 Wales

17:05 , Sarah Rendell

England build from deep but a loose pass sees them retreat into their own half, the hosts then send the ball into the air with England coming out the better.

Randall slices a kick and Malins chases it down to win another penalty. This has been an average start from Wales, some bright moments but the penalty count is going against them.

Line-out is clean from hosts and they look to score the opener here.

18' - England 6-0 Wales

17:03 , Sarah Rendell

Wales win the line-out and they clear their lines but Steward collects and makes a good few metres.

Smith connects with George to keep the ball alive and the attack ends in another England penalty at the breakdown. Will they go for the sticks again? Yes the hosts opt to kick.

It’s clear England just want to chip away at the scoreboard, won’t make the same mistakes at the 2015 World Cup. But this time it isn’t successful as the kick went wide - a big error from the Harlequins man.

15’ - England 6-0 Wales

17:00 , Sarah Rendell

Alex Cuthbert makes a massive break, streaming away and it looked like he was going to score but Steward makes a tackle.

The penalty then goes England’s way as Cuthbert doesn’t release, a frustrating moment for the man making his 50th cap. The hosts kick upfield, have a clean line-out and win another penalty as Moriarty changed his bind on the maul.

Slade kicks even more metres upfield, a good position for England to be here.

13’ - England 6-0 Wales

16:58 , Sarah Rendell

The scrum penalty initially is given to England but it’s reversed. Wales try and take it quickly and dot down but it’s pulled back - no quick tries this year.

Wales opt again for a scrum, they get a penalty advantage as England pull down the marching pack. The visitors on the charge in attack, a kick comes in for Tompkins but he can’t collect. Biggar opts for a line-out, will their be an opener here?

No there won’t be, Lawes has stolen it with a sloppy line-out from Ryan Elias. Randall clears.

10’ - England 6-0 Wales

16:55 , Sarah Rendell

An almost identical restart as Randall box kicks to safety with Liam Williams catching perfectly. This time it was Biggar’s time to box kick but Freddie Steward fumbles the ball, he is normally dependable under the high ball.

Tompkins spots a gap and kicks through. Elliot Daly does cover but Tompkins tackles him into touch.

We then have the first scrum of the match and Wales wins the penalty as England bind early. Wales opt for another scrum with players losing their footing, another reset. Frustration evident from the crowd as boos come in.

PENALTY - England 6-0 Wales (Smith, 5’)

16:51 , Sarah Rendell

Wales create an attack but England’s Randall box kicks to clear, who look to continue their impressive start.

Swing low rings around Twickenham as possession switches hands in England’s 22. Wales concede another penalty at the breakdown with Dombrandt forcing the Welsh error.

Smith again points to the sticks and he slots it home.

PENALTY - England 3-0 Wales (Smith, 2’)

16:48 , Sarah Rendell

Ollie Watkin dropped the ball which saw England pounce and launch the first attack of the match.

They fizzed the ball left and right but Wales’s defence held strong early on. They won a penalty and took it quickly but then it was England’s turn to re-gain possession - Maro Itoje over the ball quickly. The hosts decided to take the points and Smith stepped up.

And the kick is good, England ahead after a frantic few minutes

Kick-off: England 0-0 Wales

16:45 , Sarah Rendell

We are underway! Marcus Smith starts the match.

Who will win this? It’s sure to be a cracking match either way.

England vs Wales

16:40 , Sarah Rendell

The teams are out and the anthems will get underway after a message of rugby against racism.

Alex Cuthbert ran out first as he is winning his 50th cap for Wales.

We will get underway in just five minutes!

How are we feeling? The nerves creeping in? On the edge of your seat? Of course, an England Wales fixture is about to begin!

England vs Wales: What has Wayne Pivac said?

16:30 , Sarah Rendell

There’s always fighting talk around the England vs Wales with the rivalry always bubbling under the surface.

Pivac has made a shock decision by dropping Louis Rees-Zammit and bringing Josh Adams into the wing. He said of the decision: “Everybody wants to be selected and is working pretty hard.

“For us, with this particular match, looking at the opposition and the way we think the game will be played, I think the experience of the other two (wingers, rather than Rees-Zammit), work-rate off the ball and those sorts of things, are really going to come into play.”

Will it pay off? We’ll find out in less than 15 minutes with kick-off at 4.45pm.

England vs Wales: Team news

16:20 , Sarah Rendell

Well, it’s safe to say France are in control of this championship after that phenomenal 36-17 win over Scotland. But we will leave Murrayfield and travel to Twickenham now for England vs Wales.

This is a crucial match for both teams as whoever loses are affectively out of title contention.

While both sides have been hit by injuries, they have some huge players in their line-ups. England didn’t confirm their team until two hours before the match was due to kick-off as Manu Tuilagi had to withdraw with injury.

Elliot Daly comes in at 13 and Joe Marchant is named on the bench. Courtney Lawes is back and is captain and Luke Cowan-Dickie and Kyle Sinckler start.

England: Freddie Steward; Max Malins, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly, Jack Nowell; Marcus Smith, Harry Randall; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes (captain), Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt.

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Nick Isiekwe, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Joe Marchant.

While Wales have made two changes from their victory over Scotland two weeks ago.

Josh Adams replaces Louis Rees-Zammit and Taulupe Falatau comes in at no.

Wales: Liam Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar (captain), Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Jac Morgan, Kieran Hardy, Gareth Anscombe, Jonathan Davies.

Scotland 17-36 France

16:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Antoine Dupont has a chat to Princess Anne - about what I struggle to fathom - before being asked to take the Auld Alliance Trophy off its plinth and over to his teammates. Dupont, as ever, was at the beating heart of so much of what France did today.

F/T: Scotland 17-36 France

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France go marching on. Some fluent, fabulous rugby from the visitors to ensure their Grand Slam hopes remain intact.

How crucial was that final five minutes of the first half? Had Stuart Hogg gathered Chris Harris’ pass cleanly, Scotland would have gone ahead; as it was, France scored before the interval at the other end and from there the result was never really in doubt.


16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scotland 17-36 France, 81 minutes

16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

First left and then right, Scotland nearly get to the edge but eventually they are quelled. Darcy Graham flings an offload in the vague direction of a teammate and it hits the deck. Knock-on - that’ll be that.

TRY! SCOTLAND 17-36 France, (Duhan van der Merwe try, 80 minutes)

16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And they strike! Ben White boots the ball long and France return even longer, but that affords Blair Kinghorn plenty of open pasture to build up his speed. The long-striding Kinghorn dummies and keeps on chugging, rounding a French defender and then lifting a nice pass inwards for the similarly large-limbed Duhan van der Merwe.

Time enough for a bonus point score? The hurried conversion goes over...

Scotland 10-36 France, 79 minutes

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Antoine Dupont is named the sponsor’s Player of the Match as Scotland feed a midfield scrum which may be their final chance for a consolation...

Scotland 10-36 France, 77 minutes

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Everything seems to be working for France now. A Maxime Lucu kick doesn’t quite go where the scrum-half desires but bounces in France’s favour regardless. It nearly skips onwards far enough for a 50:22, but Scotland will have the lineout throw.

Scotland 10-36 France, 76 minutes

16:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It hasn’t always worked for France today but their ambition and accuracy in their offloading has again been outstanding. Thomas Ramos, another replacement, sparks the latest movement that eventually ends as Scotland force France into touch.

TRY! Scotland 10-36 FRANCE (Damian Penaud try, 75 minutes)

16:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another fine French try! Gael Fickou draws the defence at the line, pulls a pass back and allows Romain Ntamack the time to select the perfect club for his crossfield loft. The fly-half judges it to perfection to capitalise on a narrow Scottish defence, with Damian Penaud a gleeful recipient.

Scotland 10-31 France, 73 minutes

15:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The breakdown is becoming more and more messy as fresh replacements crash into one another. France have a penalty and will go again from a lineout about ten metres out on the left. Antoine Dupont is replaced by Maxime Lucu.

Scotland 10-31 France, 70 minutes

15:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Romain Taofifenua sits down a defender, and Jonathan Danty does likewise as France begin to gather momentum. The enormous Taofifenua then shows his softer side with a pass at the line to Demba Bamba, but the carrier is short of support and Rory Darge dives over the top to earn the holding-on penalty.

Scotland 10-31 France, 69 minutes

15:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jonathan Danty is well handled by Blair Kinghorn, who is on for Scotland and defending in the fly-half channel. Romain Ntamack prods a grubber in behind that is grounded by Scotland. Goal-line drop out, and back France will come for another battering of the Scottish door.

Scotland 10-31 France, 68 minutes

15:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A Scottish pass hits the deck, skewing horribly but hopping into the hands of Duhan van der Merwe. He charges in-field, but is isolated - penalty to France.

Scotland 10-31 France, 66 minutes

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Profligacy from France - the ball spills forward from their hands at the back of the lineout.

Scotland 10-31 France, 65 minutes

15:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The French breakdown attacks are becoming more and more regular. Sam Skinner is isolated and Gregory Alldritt gets over the top. Penalty to France, who will return to the Scottish 22.

Scotland 10-31 France, 63 minutes

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What speed from Damian Penaud! The winger canters back to cover a kick and then gallops away from Stuart Hogg, desperately trying to bite his ankles. Antoine Dupont clears.

Darcy Graham chips ahead but Peato Mauvaka beats him in the air and then embarrasses a defender with a deceptively deft shimmy into space. Flamenco footwork from the hooker!

After a clever French kick, Scotland will throw a lineout on their own 22.

Scotland 10-31 France, 61 minutes

15:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is becoming a bit of a statement from France, much as Scotland may be depleted. But there is still fight left in the Scottish side, with a set of forwards that now includes Oli Kebble (on from the bench at loosehead) rushing hard into the French line.

But Antoine Dupont shoots out to make a timely defensive intervention and force the ball errant.

TRY! Scotland 10-31 FRANCE (Damian Penaud try, 59 minutes)

15:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France pounce! Rory Darge is stood up in midfield and in his haste to avoid France gaining the scrum feed releases control of the ball entirely. France spread the ball to the right, with Romain Taofifenua’s draw-and-pass skills excellent, and Damian Penaud doesn’t even have to shift out of second gear as his long legs take him over.

Scotland 10-26 France, 58 minutes

15:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France play the percentages, Romain Ntamack eschewing the ambitious pass he might have thrown in the first half and stabbing a little kick in behind. Duhan van der Merwe covers well.

Scotland 10-26 France, 57 minutes

15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Again France find breakdown joy. Cameron Woki this time, spying a lone carrier turtled after Jonathan Danty’s strong tackle and jackaling perfectly.

Jean-Baptiste Gros replaces Cyriol Baille, while Ali Price has passed his head injury assessment and rejoins affairs.

Missed Penalty! Scotland 10-26 France, 56 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty of punch to Jaminet’s strike, but dragged to the left.

Scotland make some changes: George Turner replaces Stuart McInally and WP Nel arrives in place of Zander Fagerson.

Missed Penalty! Scotland 10-26 France, 56 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty of punch to Jaminet’s strike, but dragged to the left.

Scotland make some changes: George Turner replaces Stuart McInally and WP Nel arrives in place of Zander Fagerson.

Scotland 10-26 France, 55 minutes

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gael Fickou requires some extra strapping on a head wound, but strides back into position as new hooker Mauvaka hits his jumper at the lineout. Scotland come in at the side.

Interesting - it’s a toughie, but Melvyn Jaminet is going to have a go at goal. 40 metres out, seven metres infield...

Scotland 10-26 France, 54 minutes

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here come the French cavalry - Romain Taofifenua is on in the second-row, Peato Mauvaka relieves Marchand and Thibaud Flament replaces Anthony Jelonch, which I think will mean Cameron Woki shifting back to his former back-row home and Flament and Taofifenua forming a new lock partnership.

Scotland 10-26 France, 53 minutes

15:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But changes goes as Scotland lose the ball after the lineout. A real shame for Scotland, who are running out of time to force themselves back into this contest.

They attack again, but Julien Marchand, a fine jackaler, forces the carrier to hold on at the ruck.

Scotland 10-26 France, 51 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France nearly gift a try to Scotland! A kick in behind is well directed and Yoram Moefana has to hurry across to cover on the angle. He is being dropped over the touchline but chooses to hurl a desperate offload, and but for some very, very swift recovering from Melvyn Jaminet a clutch of Scottish bodies would have had time to conduct a round of voting to decide who would be allowed to touch down.

As it is, Jaminet still nearly fumbles, but does force against the floor. Moefana’s studs had brushed the line - it will be a Scotland lineout.

Scotland 10-26 France, 50 minutes

15:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Every time France have the ball they look capable of cutting Scotland to ribbons. Cyril Baille explores the blindside after Julien Marchand’s burst away from the maul, passing on to Yoram Moefana. Moefana puts his foot down but can’t quite get away.

Scotland 10-26 France, 49 minutes

15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The maul never gets going and Scotland are wise to replacement scrum-half Ben White’s excursion, too. In fact, Scotland never look like getting anything going, and when Zander Fagerson tries to drive around the corner the latching player alongside him, in this case Andy Christie, is pinged for going straight off his feet.

Scotland 10-26 France, 48 minutes

15:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A good scrum from Scotland and Ali Price bursts away, sending Romain Ntamack down the wrong avenue with a step and rushing into the French 22. Mark Bennett carries onwards and France are penalised at a ruck.

Price has taken a bang in that movement. It appears his head hit the floor rather nastily after Antoine Dupont had dragged him down from behind. He wanders off for an HIA as Scotland kick to the corner.

Scotland 10-26 France, 47 minutes

15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Uini Atonio appears to have done himself some mischief here, heavy-legged as he trudges for the touchline after a chat with the medics. Demba Bamba is readied - on he comes at tighthead for a Scottish scrum.


15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Some breaking team news from England - Elliot Daly starts at outside centre; Joe Marchant takes his place on the bench.

Scotland 10-26 France, 45 minutes

15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Danger now for Scotland. This game is beginning to run away from them. Andy Christie is brought on for a Scotland debut in the back row - he’s on for Nick Haining. A proud moment for the Saracens flanker, who has really come on in the last year and a half.

TRY! Scotland 10-26 FRANCE (Jonathan Danty try, 42 minutes)

15:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And just like that, France strike. The ball spills free from Scottish hands on the French 22 and away they play on the counter, Gale Fickou releasing Damian Penaud with a brilliant pass.

Penaud chips ahead and gets a fortuitous bounce into the hands of Jonathan Danty, who arrives on to it with ominous intent and is not even required to breach contact as he charges over.

Melvyn Jaminet adds the conversion and France have the bonus point.

Scotland 10-19 France, 41 minutes

15:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Attacking ball for Scotland first up after the break, but they fumble, and here come France...

Second half begins!

15:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Stuart Hogg restarts proceedings.

Back out there

15:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A return to action in a Scotland jersey for Mark Bennett at half-time - the injury-plagued centre is on for Chris Harris, who has not re-emerged.

But Scotland answered with Rory Darge’s first international try

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That brilliant Yoram Moefana score

15:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That was a half of some brilliant rugby from both sides, but particularly France, and perhaps never better than in the build-up to this Yoram Moefana score.


15:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

TRY! Scotland 10-19 FRANCE (Gael Fickou try, 42 minutes)

15:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another pearler! Jonathan Danty decisively deposits Finn Russell on his rear-end with a brutal bump, and then charges away with angry intensity. France swing the ball wide, Yoram Moefana checking as he takes a bouncing ball but regather momentum.

France look short of numbers as they look to the right, but Gael Fickou will do it himself! He out-runs Nick Haining on the angle, brushes aside Ali Price and just about squeezes over by the corner-flag. Melvyn Jaminet converts - an extremely costly five minutes for Scotland.

Scotland 10-12 France, 40 minutes

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France play to width, Yoram Moefana nearly putting Stuart Hogg in trouble with his footwork and then offloading nicely for Melvyn Jaminet, who somehow grasps it with a single hand.

It goes wrong soon after, but France have a penalty from the lineout drive on the right. Cameron Woki is warned for his rather forceful reaction to a Scot’s grasping of his shirt, but there is nothing in the incident to warrant over-turning the penalty. France will attack from on the edge of the Scottish 22 with the final play of the half.

Scotland 10-12 France, 38 minutes

15:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That would have been an all-timer, but Stuart Hogg drops it! It’s a moment of audacious brilliance from Scotland, playing themselves out of trouble, Hogg jinking, Finn Russell dancing and eventually Duhan van der Merwe storms through a great gaping space to breach the line.

He combines with Chris Harris, who has three outside him as he bears down on the last defender. Harris hurls for Hogg, the widest of them, who had the freedom of Edinburgh had he been able to grab a pass that just drifts agonisingly away from him. Oh, what might have been!

Scotland 10-12 France, 37 minutes

14:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly again! Finn Russell slithers through a half-hole and produces what looks to be ann outstanding off-load, but it evades Darcy Graham’s hands.

Scotland 10-12 France, 35 minutes

14:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hands on head from Duhan van der Merwe as he ponders what might have been! Ali Price is ended as he tries to snipe but Scotland then have a knock-on advantage and Finn Russell fizzes a delectable miss ball, with van der Merwe lurking out wide.

Stuart Hogg finds Nick Haining and van der Merwe is thundering along the touchline, but gets ahead of Haining’s pass and can’t gather it as he reaches back. Chance missed.

Scotland 10-12 France, 34 minutes

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scotland drive at the maul and then carry close-in. Chris Harris hits a short line off Finn Russell but rather stumbles into a tackle, and Jonathan Danty pilfers the ball back France’s way.

But a knock-on will end Melvyn Jaminet’s hopes of a counter, a dreadful pass from Danty drawing a exasperated shrug from his full-back.

Scotland 10-12 France, 32 minutes

14:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Darge and in charge! Gregory Alldritt gallops forward after a delightful interchange from Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack allows France to attack the space adjacent to the Scottish scrum, but Darge tracks the number eight all the way and is over the top superbly to force him to hold on.

Scotland 10-12 France, 31 minutes

14:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scotland get their maul set-up wrong and the ball slips from Rory Darge’s hand at the back of it.

Scotland 10-12 France, 30 minutes

14:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The momentum of this first half has really swung. France populate a Scottish breakdown with bodies after the restart but Gael Fickou’s fiddling is penalised. A shame for Gregory Alldritt, who was in perfect jackaling position.

TRY! SCOTLAND 10-12 France, 29 minutes

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A try on his first Scotland start for Rory Darge! A great strength of the flanker is his ability to change the point of contact at the line, and he does so cleverly here as he hits Ali Price’s pass, stepping subtly inwards to hit a soft shoulder and bash his way over after his fellow forwards had made good dents further infield.

Finn Russell adds the extra two.

No try! Scotland 3-12 France, 28 minutes

14:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not quite! Just an inch in it but there is a French paw between the ball and the Murrayfield turf. Penalty to Scotland for a high tackle.

They will tap and go...

Try? Scotland 3-12 France, 28 minutes

14:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

How close can Scotland get? Magnus Bradbury carries around the corner to within a metre and Rory Darge then squeezes closer. Space appears alongside the ruck and Ali Price darts for the line, and has he got there? Karl Dickson says no live, so on Scotland play, and Zander Fagerson does get over the line, but with Uini Atonio beneath the ball.

Dickson has decided that the Price grounding requires a further look. Is it down or is it on a French hand?

Scotland 3-12 France, 27 minutes

14:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty to Scotland! It’s a strange incident, Jaminet leaping to try and catch the ball but rather colliding with Sam Skinner, who is trying to slap the ball on. There’s no need for further punishment but Dickson, in consultation with TMO Tom Foley, believes it is right to penalise the French full-back - fair enough. Scotland kick to the corner.

Scotland 3-12 France, 26 minutes

14:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What has happened here? Scotland look to be about to break through the French defence as Finn Russell fizzes a wide pass, but Melvyn Jaminet gets above his man like a commanding centre-half and heads it away!

Damian Penaud is thus allowed to fly-hack the ball onwards and but for some untidy footwork would have scored. As it is, Duhan van der Merwe knocks on.

Hang on - Karl Dickson wants to check the legality of Jaminet’s challenge...

Scotland 3-12 France, 25 minutes

14:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This time the French lineout goes awry with no illegal intervention from Scotland.

They kick long, and the ball again tumbles into open space, with Duhan van der Merwe latching on and setting off on a merry canter, swatting away Romain Ntamack.

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