Coach Gregor Townsend’s side split early on as the hosts took a 19-0 lead through tries from Romain Ntamac, Ethan Dumortier and Thomas Ramos.
This hectic period also included red cards for the Scotsman Grant Gilchrist and the Frenchman Mohamed Hawass.
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The Scots again played their way into the match with two tries from Huw Jones and one from Finn Russell, but the hosts dashed their hopes of a famous encounter with a late try from Gael Fickou.
Afterwards, Townsend was proud of his team even though they were defeated.
He said on ITV: “I was so proud of the team because they probably did the best rugby in the championship and they didn’t win it.
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“It’s weird to say that when I had two wins but I thought some of our plays today were great.
“It was all built on effort, being a guy who could still play as fast as we did.
“But there was a high level of skill there as well and then there was resilience. To get back into the game, we’re disappointed we didn’t have more points on the board in the first half. We’re going to get a lot out of this.”
The full match report can be read in this week’s Border Telegraph.
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