Gregor Townsend He was proud of his Scottish players as they put on “the championship’s best performance” despite an excellent start. Six Nations The campaign ended in defeat away from France.
The Scots, beating Wales and England in their first two games, were trailing 19-0 after a heated 20-minute opening period at the Stade de France where both teams were shown red cards.
But Townsend was content with the way they rallied to get their hosts back to close to four points before the French made a late attempt to secure safety. 32-21 wins.
“I was very pleased with the performance, I thought it was our best performance in the championship so far,” Townsend said.
“I was disappointed with the result but I am proud of how the players played and how they controlled the situation, the emotions and how they adapted to being men and how much they believed in each other.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t take two or three opportunities to win the game.
“I feel like we are better than our previous game, a lot will come out of this game for us. There will be things we need to do better but we will have faith in how we play in their stadium against one of the best teams in the world.”
When asked why the Scots found themselves trailing 19-0, Townsend said: “In the first stage, we didn’t defend well enough on the ruck field for their first try.
“Then it took us a while to get back on track when a man fell to the ground, and then there was an intervention (from someone). Fin Russell passes for the third try).
“We played a lot of games back then, especially when we got ourselves back together. The ball went over the line twice, once caught and bounced over the line and another time France was penalized for offside and we couldn’t score from the corner.
“It would have been nice to go in at halftime and be closer to the leaderboard but what was talked about at halftime was that we’re here to win and that’s how we’re going to do it.
“I felt the momentum was totally with us in the second half and it’s sad that we didn’t base it on the fact that we were four points behind several times and didn’t really sign the deal.”
Lock Grant Gilchrist was sent off after just seven minutes for grabbing Anthony Jelonch in the face with his shoulder, but the points were leveled soon after when France showed Mohamed Haouas a red card.
Townsend had no complaints about his own player being sent off.
“If you struggle in the head area, then you’re looking directly at a red,” he said. “That wasn’t his intention, he was second man in the fight and it’s very rare in our fighting style that we get yellow or red cards so Grant will have to learn from that as the second man there.
“If he’s standing upright, he can’t get in with his shoulder, he just has to fight from below.”
Townsend praised the center huw jones After two tries, he increased his tally at this year’s Six Nations to three.
“In the last two weeks, I felt he was going to put on a groundbreaking game because he had trained so well, and today was that groundbreaking game,” he said.