Six Nations Corporate Hospitality at Stade de France 2018
The French have an impressive record in the 6 nations championship despite their recent run of form in the tournament.
With a total of five championship wins since the tournament started in 2000 which include Grand Slam wins in 2002, 2004 and 2010 the pedigree of the team speaks for itself.
The last time France played Scotland at the Stade de France in the Six Nations was in 2005 and was memorable for several reasons.
Just a month prior to this fixture Paris was the victim of a horrific terrorist attack and obviously this had an effect on the atmosphere in the stadium and the performance on the pitch.
La Marseillaise was sung as loud and with as much passion as it ever has been and the players came out all guns blazing at the kick off
The French supporters didn’t have to wait long for the first score as fly-half Camille Lopez kicked them into a 3-0 lead. They didn’t take their foot off the pedal as the first quarter was played with such intensity and ferocious defending.
Scotland were definitely making sure they played their part in this electric encounter with Finn Russell, Alex Dunbar and Stuart Hogg all making superb line breaks only to be denied by some fantastic last chance tacking from the French.
The two sides traded penalties and just before half time the Scots managed to make the most of one of their excursions into French territory when Dougie Fife went over in the corner after several attempts at going over but unfortunately Greg Laidlaw was unable to add the extras.
The second half started off just as the first did with the French playing some fantastic rugby but the difference this time was that the scots were unable to stay on the right side of referee Nigel Owens.
Lopez added two more penalties thanks to the indiscipline of Scotland but despite the efforts from the likes of Yoann Huget, France were unable to cross the whitewash but finished victorious winning 15-8 and depriving the Scottish of an opening weekend win for the night consecutive year.
The Welsh haven’t been welcome visitors to the Stade de France in recent years as they seem to have got the French’s number.
Their last visit was in the 2015 Six Nations Championship and they were looking for their fourth consecutive win over ‘Les Bleus’.
It didn’t take long for Wales to take the lead through a Leigh Halfpenny penalty after Romain Taofifénua was caught off his feet at the breakdown. This was to be a recurring theme throughout the game as the indiscipline would ultimately be their downfall.
France could have possibly been in front at half time but a Yoann Huget try was disallowed due to a forward pass and Camille Lopez pushed wide a straight forward penalty.
After his miss Lopez kicking duties were handed over to Morgan Parra but he seemed to inherit his fortunes in front of goal as he missed his first penalty too.
Despite a try from Brice Dulin, some typically flamboyant Gaelic rugby and a golden opportunity to draw the game within the last few minutes France were unable to overcome the boot of Halfpenny and ended the game 13-20 losers.