TikTok Women’s 6N: France crush Scotland with relentless display

Three tries in the first half and six in the second keep the home team on course for a Grand Slam decider against England

Bryan Easson
Scotland coach Bryan Easson believes his team's forthcoming games against Italy and Ireland will provide an accurate gauge of their progress. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

France 55

Scotland 0

SCOTLAND suffered their 12th defeat in a row in all competitions, and their third in this year’s – TikTok Women’s Six Nations campaign –  as they were outclassed at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes. France ran rampant against a visiting side who failed to conjure up anything that challenged the hosts.

Despite the return of Jade Konkel-Roberts and Lisa Thomson, who was making her 50th appearance, Scotland could not breach the French defence. However, head coach Bryan Easson continued to focus on the positives in the wake of the heavy defeat.

“For the first 35 minutes I thought we played and we were in the game with the third-best team in the world,” he said. “We are disappointed, don’t get me wrong.

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“I’m sitting here looking at how we have played and we are disappointed not to win the game, but we as a group here are going to continue to look at the positives. We will also look at the things we can work on to get us in the right place for next week’s game.

“Professionalism doesn’t take a hold overnight; we are showing progress [and] we are happy with some of the progress. Look, we want to win games, we are disappointed not to win these games but to compare us against England and France, I don’t think we can, yet.

“Undoubtably we’ve lost a game, we’re in the business to win games and that’s what we will continue to work on. We will be working really hard over the next couple of weeks, not necessarily on the training field because three games on the bounce for a country the size of Scotland is a tough shift.”

The Scots were awarded an early reprieve as an offload from Pauline Bourdon to a marauding Charlotte Escudero was ruled forward, chalking off the opening score.

With the welcome return of Thomson to the centre partnership, Scotland were keen  to explore attacks through the air. But France are not a team to be bullied in the aerial battle and a sharp offload to Melissande Llorens set up a simple two-on-one down on the left and Bourdon coasted untouched over the Scottish line to open the scoring.

After France turned possession over in midfield, Bourdon put boot to ball and Caroline Boujard tried to run over the top of Coreen Grant but the Saracens winger wrestled the Frenchwoman into touch. The Scots lost the ensuing lin-out and their defence eventually cracked.

After Jessy Trémoulière was denied a try at close range, chaos erupted as a loose ball was kicked wide into open space. Liz Musgrove was in the unenviable position of racing two of the French back three to touch the ball down over the line, a race she lost to Llorens who was awarded the try after a lengthy TMO deliberation.

The French marched back up to within five metres of the Scottish line and a beautiful pass from Bourdon to Boulard out wide took advantage of Scotland, who were caught unaware of the overlap. Trémoulière’s conversion completed the first-half scoring.


Upon their return to the field, France scored six tries in half an hour and secured the bonus point less than five minutes after play restarted.

The French backs put on a masterclass in offloading deep in the Scottish 22 as Gabrielle Vernier’s one-handed pass barely touched the fingers of Marine Menager before finding Boulard who ran over for her second of the afternoon.

Llorens soon found herself in open space and Chloe Rollie brought down the winger inches short of another try. But that merely delayed the inevitable as the ball popped up into the hands of Gaëlle Hermet who scored.

Boulard would go on to secure her hat-trick and further tries would come from Menager, set up by her twin sister Romane, Vernier, and replacement Maëlle Filopon.

After being found out by the French and failing to put up any points, Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm refused to let her teammates’ heads drop.

“My message in the circle after the game was ‘we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves’,” she said. “We competed with the third best team in the world for 40 minutes, we need to look at why we didn’t compete in the second half but we can take huge positives from the fact we did compete. We want to come out next week and we want to get a result so we don’t have time to dwell too much on that [French loss], we need to look forward.”

Scotland’s next game is against Italy on Saturday at the DAM Health Stadium. Emma Orr, who was stretchered off late in the game with a head injury, is definitely out of that match even though she was “up and about” in the dressing room after the game according to Easson. Fran McGhie, taken off early with an ankle injury, also looks set to miss out on the Italian match, but as things stand has a chance of coming back for the final fixture of the campaign, at home to Ireland on Saturday week.


Teams –

France: E Boulard; C Boujard (M Filopon 62), M Menager, G Vernier, M Llorens; J Trémoulière (C Arbez 62), P Bourdon (A Chambon 55); Y Brosseau (A Mwayembe 57), A Sochat (E Riffonneau 65), A Khalfaoui (R Bernadou 55), M Picut, A Forlani (captain, R Menager 51), A Berthoumieu (J Annery 65), G Hermet, C Escudero.

Scotland: C Rollie; E Musgrove, E Orr, L Thomson, F McGhie (C Grant 8); H Nelson (M Smith 66), C Mattinson (M McDonald 57); L Bartlett (A Young 74), L Skeldon (J Rettie 63), C Belisle (E Clarke 57), L O’Donnell (E Donaldson 55), L McMillan, R Malcolm (captain), E Gallagher, J Konkel-Roberts (R McLachlan 46).

Referee: Lauren Jenner (New Zealand)


Scorers –

France: Tries: Bourdon, Llorens, Hermet, Vernier, Boulard 3, Menager, Filopon Cons: Trémoulière 4, Arbez.

Scotland: No scorers

Scoring sequence (France first): 5-0; 10-0; 15-0; 17-0 (h-t) 22-0; 27-0; 29-0; 34-0; 36-0; 41-0; 43-0; 48-0; 53-0; 55-0.

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About Fergus Mainland 4 Articles
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Fergus grew up playing rugby up to the point that the opposition became a lot bigger than him. Currently studying for a Masters in Sports Journalism and NCTJ diploma, he can be found covering the Premier 15s as well as the trials and tribulations of Scotland’s teams whilst hosting the TW2 Rugby podcast.


  1. I’m not sure how many correspondents follow our ladies club game. There are big strides being made regarding the standard, numbers playing and the opportunity for young girls to take up the sport but we are still very much in our infancy. We will get better as the number of players increase but not just more players but players who have taken up the game at 11 and not later in life as is often the case at the moment.
    No one to blame, we seem to like blaming everyone on this channel, but just the development of the game in Scotland.
    No matter how much money we throw at it I reckon it will take 10 years for us to be consistently competitive at the top level.
    Come down and watch ladies rugby and give it your support and learn about it instead of blaming and criticising from your key boards.

  2. Scottish rugby player development as a whole is in dire straits. There is no pathway evident that is producing anything. Its not the players fault. Its the union and those old men who cant seem to let go of the past. Its not 1990 anymore, there’s no more blazers to be had or free lunches.

    Its a professional game now with most other nations taking that very seriously. The union have left us in the past.

    Still the same heads spouting the same nonsense whilst other nations stride ahead.

  3. Struggling to see what ‘progress ‘ has been made under this coaching regime. 12 losses on the bounce suggests this may be illusory SRU management speak similar to that deployed after repeated age group failures.
    This coaching group is failing, serially, and must be disposed off at the end of the 6 Nations. Yesterday saw a mish-mash of old warhorses and rookies, definitely not a team, put to the sword by a fine French side.

  4. 3 tries (17pts) to nil down at HT doesn’t much look like “competing”, Ms Malcolm – assuming that’s what you’d meant.

  5. We hear a lot of waffle about “taking the positives” and excuses made about the gulf in quality being caused because of professionalism and the fact that Scotland have only just issued pro contracts. This has an element of truth however the basic skill level on show today was very poor , particularly in the second half. The quality and accuracy of the kicking were absolutely awful, also the tactical naivety of choosing to kick a penalty for touch , often only making 15-20 metres to then repeatedly cough up possession from a malfunctioning lineout. You don’t have to be a professional to be able to kick or tackle well nor to be able to make tactical adjustments. To me it’s like they are programmed – penalty = kick to touch, surely if yuu are only making 15m from the kick to then have a contested lineout the smart option must be to keep possession and to tap and go on occasion? The tactical kicking in open play was also of awful quality. There are players in that team with enough experience that they should be seeing and reacting to these on field issues.
    The skill level on show today was comparable to an average male U18 team at best , indeed probably below that level. We can make all the excuses we want , this group has had a high level coaching group and decent facilities for some time and their general skill level and tactical awareness should be much better than it is regardless of either amateur or professional status.
    There are no excuses now for basic skills or tactical nous being so poor so the players had better sharpen up quick because todays display was simply not good enough given the resources that this group of players / coaches now has. These players are now professional and have significant resources when compared to amateur teams. The games are televised so there must be a decent product on show to justify this, France certainly did but Scotland were woefully short of the mark in nearly every aspect of the game.

  6. It’s great for coaching staff to be optimistic. However to say you ” we are disappointed not to win the game” that was lost by 55 points to nil, is verging on delusional.
    Hopefully by this time next year this squad will have benefitted from being full time professionals.

    • I’m afraid these results simply aren’t good enough. Little progress is being made. 12 loses in a row is alarming and if anything the gap is growing. there’s a big issue from the top of the board down to the players themselves just not being good enough. Worrying times.


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