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France 34-21 Scotland

France (17) 34
Tries: Medard, penalty, Harinordoquy, Traille Cons: Parra 2, Yachvili 2 Pen: Yachvili Drop-goal: Trinh-Duc
Scotland (7) 21
Tries: Kellock, Brown, Lamont Cons: Parks 2, Jackson

Imanol Harinordoquy breaks away to score for France against Scotland

Extended highlights - France v Scotland

By Andy Campbell

Reigning Six Nations champions France opened this season's campaign with a stylish victory over a spirited Scotland side at the Stade de France.

Maxime Medard, Imanol Harinordoquy and Damien Traille all crossed the line for the French, who also claimed a penalty try during an impressive display.

Captain Alastair Kellock's first-half score gave the Scots hope.

And Kelly Brown and Sean Lamont ran in further tries for Andy Robinson's side in the second period.

France continue their pursuit of a second straight Grand Slam against Ireland in eight days' time, while Scotland host Wales a day earlier.

Still reeling after their 59-16 loss to Australia in November, France punished Scottish slackness in the opening minutes as Nick De Luca surrendered possession to Thierry Dusautoir, who offloaded to Aurelien Rougerie.

Rougerie's delightful grubber kick sat up perfectly for the pacy Medard to run onto and touch down in the corner, Morgan Parra adding the conversion.

The French were dominating territory and Francois Trinh-Duc's drop-goal stretched the home side's advantage.

A raking cross-field kick by Trinh-Duc set France on their way down the right as Yoann Huget got a kind bounce and, after the ball was recycled, Richie Gray made a vital tackle to block the progress of the menacing Rougerie.

The Scots were galvanised by Gray's intervention and, after kicking into touch with a penalty, the visitors pressed well down the French left to make their first dent on the scoreline.

Kellock dummied well to slip under the challenge of William Servat and squeeze the ball over the line for his first international try, Dan Parks adding the extras.

Gray came to Scotland's rescue again with a last-ditch tackle on Huget as France tried to re-assert themselves.

A lengthy sequence of scrums that featured several Scottish infringements prompted a penalty try for the French and Parra kicked a simple conversion.

Scotland strung some decent phases together, but they lacked the pace and incisiveness of their opponents and a loose pass by Joe Ansbro deep inside French territory put paid to any hopes of another try before the turnaround.

Brown was penalised near halfway, but Parra's penalty attempt slipped wide.

François Trinh-Duc passes the ball between his legs against Scotland

Cheeky pass sets up Harinordoquy

However, France were soon in the ascendancy again and a marvellous backwards pass through the legs by Trinh-Duc released Harinordoquy, who dummied inside to run in under the posts, Dimitri Yachvili converting.

The Scottish response was positive and, after France were caught offside, replacement scrum-half Mike Blair opted to run and slipped in Brown, who went over and Parks maintained his 100% kicking record.

Yachvilli was wide with France's next penalty, but the Scots were soon undone by some clinical French attacking stemming from a turnover.

Medard retrieved and burst into space before Yachvili and Poitrenaud worked the ball on to Traille, who finished off a stunning move. Yachvili converted.

But, once again, Scotland reduced the French advantage as Ansbro opened up the space for Lamont to touch down between the posts, Ruaridh Jackson adding the conversion.

Yachvili's penalty brought the scoring to an end.

France: Traille, Huget, Rougerie, Mermoz, Medard, Trinh-Duc, Parra, Domingo, Servat, Mas, Pierre, Nallet, Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy.

Replacements: Poitrenaud for Mermoz (44), Clerc for Medard (73), Yachvili for Parra (52), Guirado for Servat (57), Ducalcon for Mas (52), Thion for Nallet (62), Chabal for Harinordoquy (55).

Scotland: Southwell, Walker, Ansbro, De Luca, Evans, Parks, R. Lawson, Jacobsen, Ford, Murray, Gray, Kellock, Hines, Barclay, Brown.

Replacements: S. Lamont for De Luca (55), Jackson for Parks (69), Blair for R. Lawson (40), Hall for Ford (73), Low for Murray (70), Vernon for Hines (56), Rennie for Barclay (61).

Att: 81,337

Ref: W Barnes (RFU)

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see also
Six Nations - as it happened
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Mermoz set to miss Ireland match
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France v Scotland photos
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France v Scotland stats
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Eyes on the prize
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Scots must be ruthless - Robinson
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World Cup no distraction - Hines
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France pick Mermoz & drop Jauzion
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De Luca returns for Scots opener
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Kellock focused on performance
02 Feb 11 |  Scottish

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