A depleted Scotland conceded three tries in the last eight minutes to crash to a 46-10 defeat to France in Perpignan on Saturday afternoon.
Fielding an almost second string line-up, Scotland did superbly to trail just 28-10 thanks to a first-half effort by Dave Arnot, the London Skolars centre from Fife, and an 80 metre interception try by debutant Ben Hellewell of Warrington Wolves. Easterhouse Panthers product David Scott, now with Hull FC, converted Hellewell’s try superbly from the touchline.
But Scotland’s exhausted part-time players – seven of whom have never played senior rugby before -could not cope with France’s Super League stars in the closing stages.
Dane Chisholm from NRL club Melbourne Storm ran in a hat-trick of tries for the French, while Vincent Duport, Thomas Bosc and Mathias Pala also crossed the Bravehearts’ line. Catalans Dragons’ Jean-Philippe Baile scored the first two tries, Bosc kicking seven goals from eight attempts.
“The game just went on 20 minutes too long for us,” said Scotland skipper Andrew Henderson, who played the whole of the game at hooker. “We were light in the forwards while their pack were big and strong and got over the top of us. But the young blokes should be proud of their efforts.”
Tries: Dane Chisholm 3, Jean-Philippe Baile 2, Vincent Duport, Thomas Bosc, Mathias Pala
Goals: Thomas Bosc 7 from 8
Team: Cyril Stacul, Vincent Duport , Jean-Philippe Baile, Mathias Pala, Frédéric Vaccari , Dane Chisholm, Thomas Bosc, Jamal Fakir, Kane Bentley, Rémi Casty, Olivier Elima, Cyrille Gossard, Jason Baitieri., Maxime Grésèque, Eloi Pelissier, Mickaël Simon, Julian Bousquet.
Tries: Dave Arnot, Ben Hellewell
Goals: David Scott 1 from 2
Team: Alex Hurst, Crawford Matthews, Ben Hellewell, Dave Arnot , David Scott, Lee Paterson, John Duffy, Neil Lowe, Andrew Henderson, Sam Barlow, Josh Barlow, Paddy Coupar, Alex Szostak, Callum Cockburn, Michael Stewart, Jordan Rice, Nick Broere.