Six Nations Tips: France to beat Scotland but fall short of title

France match winner Brice Dulin
France kept their title hopes alive with a last-gasp try to defeat Wales

The Six Nations concludes this Friday and Simon Mail thinks France will miss out on the title despite beating Scotland...

"Scotland have conceded the fewest points in this year's competition and France face a huge task to win by 21 points to snatch the title."

France v Scotland
Friday, 20:00
Live on BBC One

France stun Wales to keep hopes alive

France kept their Six Nations title hopes alive by crushing Wales' Grand Slam bid in an enthralling match last weekend. Fabien Galthie's side scored with the final play of the game to snatch a 32-30 victory.

The task facing France in Friday's night rescheduled final match is to beat Scotland by 21 points with a try bonus point to pinch the title from Wales.

With France down to 14 men, after Paul Willemse's red card in the 68th minute, and trailing by 10 points it looked as if Wales had wrapped up the Grand Slam. But two yellow cards for the visitors gave France a chance to pounce and Brice Dulin broke Wales' hearts with his try at the death for a dramatic bonus point win.

France bring Romain Ntamack back in at fly-half for the injured Matthieu Jalibert for this title decider. Bernard Le Roux, Swan Rebbadj, flanker Anthony Jelonch and centre Arthur Vincent are also recalled to face Scotland. Willemse starts a two-match ban, while Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin and wing Teddy Thomas drop to the bench.

Scotland looking to pull off upset

Scotland will have mixed emotions about their campaign with Gregor Townsend's side failing to build on their superb opening win over England. It was a complete performance at Twickenham for Scotland but the side followed it up with frustrating home defeats against Wales and Ireland. There were no problems last weekend as the hosts thrashed Italy 52-10 at Murrayfield.

hogg italy.jpg

Their eight-try win was impressive, although it has to be taken in the context of facing an Italy side that have now lost 32 successive matches in the competition. Hooker Dave Cherry and wing Duhan van der Merwe both scored twice as Scotland eased to victory, which still keeps them in with a chance of finishing as Six Nations runners-up.

Scotland make four changes for their final match with fly-half Finn Russell fit to return after missing the Italy win with concussion. Russell's availability means Stuart Hogg switches back to his usual role at full-back. Chris Harris, Ali Price and George Turner also come into the starting line-up, with Cherry on the bench despite scoring twice last weekend.

France to fall short of tough target

France have it all to do against Scotland if they are to pull off a remarkable title triumph from under the noses of Wales.

In their last 16 meetings against Scotland, France have only managed to win by at least 21 points once.

It underlines the size of the task facing Galthie's side after a short six-day turnaround.

The last 11 clashes between the sides at the Stade de France have all been won by the hosts. France should extend this record but achieving the margin of victory required could prove too much to ask.

Scotland have conceded the fewest points in this year's competition and France face a huge task to win by 21 points to snatch the title. The handicap mark is 15 points but the best bet could be to back France to win by 11 to 20 points at 11/4 with their gallant title bid falling just short.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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