• Offensive bonus and 21 points difference, the scenario for France to win the tournament
This 2021 edition of the Six Nations Tournament is drawing to a close. And the least we can say is that the suspense remains about the winner. If Wales have already posed an option to win the title, nothing is being done. The French can still comb a second time the Welsh at the post, largely dominating the Scots.
To win the long-awaited title since 2010, Fabien Galthié’s men will have to pocket the victory with the offensive bonus, that is to say, score at least four tries. But this is not yet sufficient. The XV of France will also have to win with a gap of 21 points on the Scots. All hopes are therefore still permitted, but the conditions are far from ideal.
• More than 20 points difference, France has already done it against Scotland
The task turns out to be complex. But that does not mean that it is impossible. In 98 meetings between the two teams, in all competitions, France has already managed to win by more than 20 points against Scotland. They have even done it eight times, including the first time in 1997 (47-20). But the biggest victory is undoubtedly that of the 2003 World Cup in the group stage with a difference of 42 points (51-9).
Another victory for France against Scotland, in 2008, in the Six Nations Tournament (27-6). A gap of 21 points which would be enough this year to win the 2021 edition. As for the most recent date, it dates back to 2019. During a test match at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, the Blues won ( 32-3). That is to say a difference of 29 points. So why not repeat this feat this Friday March 26 at the Stade de France?
• Scotland, best defense of the tournament
However, the mission promises to be perilous. Scotland have indeed the best defense of the six nations this year. Since the start of this 2021 edition, the XV du Chardon has only conceded 68 points and seven tries. France is not far behind with also seven tries conceded, but 76 points in total. “The Scots are the best defense in the league. They have a very, very good defense, very well organized, very tactical, very strategic and smart too. They are the best at the moment.,” even admitted coach Fabien Galthié at a press conference.
But this Scottish defense has already been well established for a year. In 2020, his statistics were flattering. The XV du Chardon had conceded only five tries and 59 points in five matches during the competition. A rebirth due to a certain Steve Tandy, Scottish defense coach since December 2019. “There are some very good defenders in this team. You just needed to gain a little confidence, change the mindset and realize how important defending is.“.
• Revenge for this “beautiful” with a big stake
For this last match of the competition, the fight is likely to be tough. If for Scotland, dreams of winning the Tournament have already flown, for the Blues, everything still seems possible. But the XV du Chardon is the only team to have beaten them in the 2020 Tournament at Murrayfield (28-17).
A few months later, on the occasion of the Autumn Nations Cup, France was able to catch up in this same stadium (22-15). For this “beautiful”, the stakes are high: victory in the Tournament for the Tricolores, which they have not done since 2010, and a second place to go for the XV du Chardon, his best result since 1999 and the transition to six nations. In terms of general confrontations, France leads with 56 wins against 38 for Scotland and 4 draws.
• Ntamack-Russell, a duel of openers
Both will return as holders for this last match of the Six Nations Tournament. On the one hand, Romain Ntamack, on the other Finn Russell. In common: the will to play everywhere and to create differences while being very solid at the foot.
Absent against Italy due to a concussion suffered against Ireland, the Scottish opener will regain his place of number 10. Holder in the three previous matches, Finn Russell is an offensive poison, capable of attacking line like kicking with exceptional technique. The French know him well: he plays in Racing 92.
For Romain Ntamack, this will be his first tenure in the 2021 Tournament, replacing Matthieu Jalibert, also the victim of a concussion against the Welsh. Victim of a broken jaw in December, the Toulousain, who played 50 minutes against the Welsh last week, finds a XV of France to finish the job, a year after having to leave his teammates very quickly (8th) in Murrayfield against Scotland, for the only French defeat.
Source site sport.francetvinfo.fr