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Fraser and Thompson score for Scots 20s

By Hugh Barrow

Scotland 20s lose in Pau

France Under-20s had to hold off an amazing Scotland comeback to claim victory in an absolute barn-burner on Friday night in Pau.

Vincent Pinto, Eli Eglaine and Jules Favre all crossed in the first half as the fast-starting Bleuets opened up a 21-0 lead. 

But Scotland came storming back either side of the interval, wing Jack Blain bagging a double while Ross Thompson and Robbie McCallum also touched down.

Near the start of the second half the hosts were trailing 22-21, and had been outscored four tries to three. 

But the main difference between the two sides was the goalkicking as Mathieu Smaili was perfect from the tee while Thompson was wayward.

And the pressure told in the final quarter as Jordan Joseph bagged a double and Yoram Moefana also went over the home side. 

Scottish replacement Angus Fraser did grab a fifth for the visitors but it was mere consolation as defending champions France bounced back from their loss to England in round two. 

OFF THE MARK

Stung by their loss to England last time out, the French were on the charge from the start against the winless Scots. 

Pinto finished a fine set-piece move in the right corner before Eglaine muscled over after a scrum for a 14-0 lead. 

Smaili, in for Louis Carbonel, also converted the third score, grabbed by replacement Jules Favre who was only just on the pitch to finish an end-to-end move. 

Scotland needed a response and Blain provided it, getting on the end of Connor Boyle's grubber to reduce arrears but Thompson missed the extras. 

The fly-half made up for it with a solo stunner soon after though, breaking tackles and sidestepping over from near halfway. 

His conversion hit the post but when replacement McCallum finished a fine team move and Thompson converted, Scotland were right back in it at 21-17 at the break. 

FRANCE DIG DEEP

The Scots were in front in the second half when Blain regathered his own chip to score, Thompson again off with the conversion but it was 22-21 to the visitors. 

However, France came roaring back around the hour mark, Joseph over at the back of a maul and Moefana after a quick tap. 

Again Smaili slotted both conversions and while Fraser bagged another Scottish try from a maul, the final try went to Joseph as France secured the victory in style. 

TRIES
Pinto (5')
Eglaine (13')
Favre (26')
Joseph (53') , (78')
Moefana (62')
Blain (31') , (49')
Thompson (33')
McCallum (39')
Fraser (66')
CONVERSIONS
Smaili (6') , (14') , (28') , (54') , (63') , (79')
Thompson (40')

Updated 22:43 - 22 Feb 2019 by Hugh Barrow

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