Scotland stun France with display of 'heart and commitment'

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The Independent Online

A former master at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Frank Hadden made the frankest of assessments of his team's first day in the Six Nations Championship yesterday. The Murrayfield scoreboard read: Scotland 20 France 16. The championship table had been turned upside down: Scotland, supposed wooden spoon contenders, joint top; France, odds-on favourites, joint bottom.

It was a momentous occasion, with the championship blown wide open and the Murrayfield crowd celebrating a famous, and highly unlikely, victory - Scotland's first against France on home soil for 10 years. And yet the report from Scotland's coach of 10 months was a sobering: could do better.

"There are still some wee bits of rust in there," Hadden maintained, after watching his side resist a late French fightback. "But in terms of guts and determination, heart and commitment to the cause, it was outstanding."

It certainly was, with Sean Lamont, the big bleached blond Northampton wing, plundering a brace of tries and Chris Paterson landing 10 points with his right boot.

"I certainly don't think we've shown all of our hand yet. A lot of it was off the cuff play. I do feel proud tonight, though," Hadden added.