Tag Archives: murrayfield

Six Nations 2013: Gordon D"Arcy injured and out of Championship

Problems mount for Ireland as veteran centre D'Arcy is ruled out of remainder of Six Nations

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

15:58 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 15 February 2013

Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy will miss the rest of this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship due to a foot injury.

The Leinster player is likely to be sidelined for six weeks, the Irish Rugby Football Union announced.

Ireland have already lost wing Simon Zebo (foot) for the rest of the tournament, while fly-half Jonathan Sexton (hamstring) and lock Mike McCarthy (knee ligament strain) will also miss the game against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24.

Crocked: D'Arcy will miss the rest of Ireland's Six Nations campaign

Crocked: D'Arcy will miss the rest of Ireland's Six Nations campaign

D'Arcy experienced discomfort in his right foot following the 12-6 defeat against England in Dublin last Sunday.

'This failed to settle down before the Ireland training session on Thursday, and following a scan yesterday afternoon it was confirmed that D'Arcy has a stress injury to a bone in his foot,' the IRFU said in a statement.

'The injury will require immobilisation in a boot for at least four weeks, with a projected return to play of six weeks, pending further tests and specialist review.

'The Ireland training squad for the Scotland Test match week will be announced on Sunday evening following the completion of games in the RaboDirect Pro12.'

D'Arcy's injury means that Ireland coach Declan Kidney will need to make at least five changes for the trip to Edinburgh.

Big loss: D'Arcy has won 73 caps for Ireland since 1999

Big loss: D'Arcy has won 73 caps for Ireland since 1999

On top of the injuries to D'Arcy, Zebo, Sexton and McCarthy, prop Cian Healy is suspended after he was cited for stamping on England prop Dan Cole at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland currently lie fourth in the Six Nations table with one win from two games.

After the Scotland fixture, they host France on March 9 and then tackle Italy in Rome seven days later.

Healy will not be involved in Leinster's RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso in Dublin tomorrow.

Healy received a three-week ban on
Wednesday after being cited for stamping on England prop Dan Cole during
last weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash.

Missing: Exciting young wing Zebo was injured in Ireland's win over Wales

Missing: Exciting young wing Zebo was injured in Ireland's win over Wales

Mindful that under normal circumstances Healy would have been rested this weekend, an independent disciplinary hearing decided that the punishment for his stamp should be deferred by one week so that he would miss Ireland's Six Nations matches against Scotland on February 24 and France on March 9.

Banned: Healy stamped on Dan Cole

Banned: Healy stamped on Dan Cole

Six Nations Rugby Limited today issued a statement clarifying the position surrounding Healy.

'During the hearing of the citing complaint against Mr Healy, the chairman of the independent disciplinary committee, Roger Morris, of Wales, made it clear to Mr Healy and those representing him at the hearing that Mr Healy was suspended from the date on which he had been informed of the citing complaint against him (11 February 2013) until midnight on the night of Sunday, 10 March 2013,' a statement read.

'The disciplinary committee has not yet
produced its written decision, but Mr Morris has today written to Six
Nations Rugby Limited and those representing Mr Healy at the hearing to
confirm the position.

'Mr Morris says, in relevant part: “I do
not think anyone present at the hearing on Wednesday was in any doubt
that Mr Healy is not free to play again until after midnight on 10
March”.

'Accordingly, Mr Healy is currently
suspended and will remain suspended – subject to appeals – until 11
March 2013. He is therefore not eligible to play for Leinster in this
weekend's RaboDirect PRO12 match against Benetton Treviso.

'In addition, following clause 2.5.99 of the Six Nations disciplinary and anti-doping rules (which is consistent with IRB Regulations 17.19.10 and 17.19.11), and in keeping with other decisions, the disciplinary committee excluded this weekend from its calculations of the three-week suspension as a result of evidence given at the hearing to the effect that Mr Healy would not have been selected to play for Leinster in this weekends match against Benetton Treviso.'

Six Nations 2013: Jonathan Sexton and Mike McCarthy injured and out of Scotland game

Blow for Ireland as Sexton and McCarthy are ruled out of Scotland clash

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

13:41 GMT, 14 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 14 February 2013

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton and second row Mike McCarthy have been ruled out of the RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24.

Sexton sustained a hamstring problem and McCarthy knee ligament damage in Sunday's 12-6 defeat by England and team manager Mick Kearney announced today that they will miss the trip to Edinburgh.

'Jonny's scan revealed a grade two
hamstring injury. Progress has been good so far, but it's too early to
say when he will return to play,' Kearney said.

Crocked: Sexton hobbled off injured against England last weekend

Crocked: Sexton hobbled off injured against England last weekend

'Mike has hurt the medial ligament of
his right knee. It's quite sore and he will be in a brace for two
weeks. A further review will take place in two weeks.'

Ireland received more positive news on the remaining injuries they incurred during a brutal clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Centre Brian O'Driscoll, full-back Rob Kearney, flanker Sean O'Brien and lock Donnacha Ryan are at varying degrees of fitness, but all should be available to face Scotland.

'Brian had a recurrence of the soft tissue injury in his good ankle. Scans revealed no structural damage and he will do non-contact training today,' Kearney said.

Ruled out: McCarthy (centre) will also miss the Scotland clash

Ruled out: McCarthy (centre) will also miss the Scotland clash

'Donnacha Ryan suffered a lower back
muscle strain. Scans have excluded structural damage but he's quite sore
and won't train this week.

'He'll be reassessed at the weekend and at this stage he has a good chance of being available against Scotland.

'Sean O'Brien has recovered well from his stiff neck and tight hamstring and will train today.

'Rob is fine. He had a slight dead leg but trained fully today.'

Chris Foy"s highs and lows of 2012 in rugby union

It's been a funny old year, so here are the highs and lows of an unforgettable 2012

|

UPDATED:

00:10 GMT, 28 December 2012

At the end of a year that featured so many remarkable, inspirational sporting feats, this column presents the rugby highlights and lowlights – the good, bad and ugly of 2012.

These are a mixture of the conventional and bizarre, the well-known and obscure. Above all, this is a personal selection of memories, not an exhaustive, comprehensive record of the last 12 months. Here goes:

Player of the Year: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe. It has been said here before and it is worth saying again – Argentina's back-row captain is simply without equal.

Stand-out: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe is Sportsmail's Chris Foy's Player of 2012

Stand-out: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe is Sportsmail's Chris Foy's Player of 2012

Try of the Year: To jog the memory, Sky provided a useful shortlist. Based on their eye-catching selection, the one that stands out is from New Zealand's ITM Cup; Hawke's Bay wing Gillies Kaka against Bay of Plenty.

Sheer counter-attacking audacity and predatory class.

Performance of the Year (team): It is still vividly fresh in the mind, almost a month on. England beating the seemingly invincible All Blacks with a three-try swagger was the ultimate collective feat.

Performance of the Year (individual): In England's win over France in Paris in March, Tom Croft reached standards even beyond what he delivered for the Lions in 2009.

The Tigers flanker scored a scorching try, dominated the lineout, carried superbly, tackled, hit rucks, the lot. Upsets of the year: Harlequins losing to Connacht in Galway and Edinburgh ambushing the mighty Toulouse at Murrayfield in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Invincible England hammered New Zealand at Twickenham

Invincible England hammered New Zealand at Twickenham

More from Chris Foy…

Chris Foy: Fantastic plastic will end the winter mudbaths, for the better
20/12/12

Chris Foy: Crowd at HQ must roar to silence wails of the Welsh
06/12/12

Chris Foy: Early World Cup draw can sow seeds of discontent
29/11/12

Chris Foy: New guru Parker will soon learn rugby is not an exact science
22/11/12

Chris Foy world of rugby: Lam's back, so it could be the chop for Howley
15/11/12

Chris Foy: Six injured and counting, Lancaster needs stability
01/11/12

World of rugby: Ireland facing the music as Strauss gets a call-up
25/10/12

Chris Foy: More referees will follow Lawrence's example and quit if this hounding goes on
18/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Best Test newcomers: Craig Gilroy (Ireland), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Michael Hooper (Australia), Joe Launchbury (England), Tim Visser (Scotland).

Best game covered: South Africa v England in Johannesburg. Springbok fervour in the stands and ferocity on the field, England hit to near-oblivion, then reviving to nearly conjure a stunning win.

Best nickname revelations: Dan Cole (Polar Bear) – 'It's a large Arctic creature, fur as white as my skin.'

Toby Flood, during Movember: 'I'm told I look like the lead singer of Metallica.' (He meant Lemmy from Motorhead!)

Worst match conditions: Plenty of contenders, but it has to be Australia v Scotland in June. The visitors prevailed in a monsoon far more reminiscent of a wild night at Murrayfield than the usually balmy surrounds of the New South Wales coast.

Agonising defeat: Ireland deserved a maiden win over New Zealand during their second Test in June but after Jonny Sexton missed a penalty at 19-19 in Christchurch, Dan Carter's last-minute drop goal saw the All Blacks home.

Worst celebration: Seconds after Scotland clinched their famous win that night, the players formed a bouncing huddle, but when Joe Ansbro and Alasdair Strokosch leapt on to it, their clash of heads left Ansbro with blood pouring from an eye wound and he missed his country's next game.

Amusing ambush: Roger Lewis, chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, offering to stage the England v Wales World Cup 2015 pool game in Cardiff, just minutes after the draw had pitched the bitter rivals together. The host nation didn't take long to reject his 'kind offer'.

Polar bear: Dan Cole has acquired a nickname because of his size and fair hair

Polar bear: Dan Cole has acquired a nickname because of his size and fair hair

New buzz-phrase: 'Work-ons'. England's new coaching team have wholeheartedly adopted it. Bad day for defences: Heineken Cup – Northampton 36 Munster 51.

Worrying trend: Exodus of Welsh players to French clubs, amid economic turmoil.

Drawn-out farce of the Year No 1: Promotion of London Welsh to the Premiership. Having won the Championship but failed to satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria, both the Exiles and Newcastle were kept hanging on until the decision was eventually reversed on appeal in July.

Drawn-out farce of the Year No 2: England coach recruitment. While Stuart Lancaster was put in charge without too much fuss after his convincing Six Nations audition, the RFU were slack in pursuing Andy Farrell, then snubbed by Wayne Smith before Farrell's re-think.

Surreal news day: Wasps had just staged a press conference in a pub by Ealing Common when the TV rights war erupted in September. It was nearly closing time when the last words had been filed.

Best new overseas imports: Kahn Fotuali'i (Ospreys), Vereniki Goneva (Leicester).

Dead ringer: Toby Flood was told he looked like the lead singer of Motorhead when sporting his 'Movember' facial hair

Dead ringer: Toby Flood was told he looked like the lead singer of Motorhead when sporting his 'Movember' facial hair

Most difficult phone call: Warren Gatland ringing his long-time sidekick Shaun Edwards to tell him that he would not be part of the Lions coaching staff next summer.

Favourite fans: Clermont, Munster and Ulster.

Grounds for complaint No 1: When there was a rare burst of snow in Rome prior to England's Six Nations encounter with Italy, ground-staff made a feeble attempt to clear the surface at the Stadio Olimpico and only in the half occupied by the Azzurri.

Grounds for complaint No 2: Saracens' use of the PA system at Vicarage Road to relentlessly play 'Stand up for the Saracens' in an attempt to drown out Munster's magnificent fans.

My prediction howlers: England to beat Australia. Wrong. England 'surely can't win' against New Zealand. Wrong. Leinster to retain the Heineken Cup. Almost certainly wrong.

The last word…

Danny Cipriani has been recalled by Sale for Friday's clash with Worcester at Salford City Stadium as the Premiership's bottom club attempt to close the five-point gap to 11th-placed London Irish.

The former England fly-half was dropped from the squad last week and heavily criticised by the Sharks' hierarchy following the 62-0 defeat against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol on December 16 in the group stage of the Heineken Cup.

Recall: Danny Cipriani is set to play against Worcester for Sale

Recall: Danny Cipriani is set to play against Worcester for Sale

Having settled into the Premiership with more conviction than anyone imagined, London Welsh have signalled their commitment to long-term growth and development by recruiting Tony Copsey as their chief executive.

The former Wales and Scarlets lock will take up his new post from New Year's Day alongside former Llanelli team-mate Lyn Jones, now coach.

All 20 Premier League clubs will wear the poppy with pride on Remembrance Day

All 20 Premier League clubs will wear the poppy with pride on Remembrance Day

|

UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 2 November 2012

All 20 Barclays Premier League clubs will display a uniform poppy design on their shirts for the first time to mark Remembrance Day.

Every top-flight club will further show their support for the Poppy Appeal by donating all ‘Remembrance’ shirts to the British Legion for auction.

This year’s Poppy Appeal activities are even more poignant, with Armistice Day — November 11 — falling on Remembrance Sunday and all Premier League clubs have permission from the Royal British Legion to use the official Poppy on their shirts.

Wearing the poppy with pride: West Brom display their Remembrance shirts

Wearing the poppy with pride: West Brom display their Remembrance shirts

British Legion targets 42m record

The Poppy Appeal was launched in 1921 to raise funds to support the Royal British Legion’s charitable work and pay respect to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This year, the Legion aims to raise 42million, 2m more than 2011’s record-breaking total, when 46 million poppies were distributed. The first Premier League club to play in poppy-adorned shirts were Leicester City in 2003, and manager Micky Adams wanted it to become the permanent strip after his team won back-to-back games that November.

Sportsmail has also learned that England’s rugby team will wear poppies on their kit when they play Fiji at Twickenham next Saturday — but Scotland will not do so the following day.

The Scots have opted to take the field at Murrayfield on Remembrance Sunday with poppies on their tracksuits and not play the All Blacks in poppy-adorned shirts.

Fiji will also wear poppies on their playing kit for their clash with England.

Wales, who welcome Argentina to the
Millennium Stadium at the same time as England host Fiji, will wear
poppies sewn into their shirts.

The
All Blacks will be wearing poppies on their warm-up tracksuits for the
anthems at the Scotland match. And Australia will wear them against
France.

Show of support: West Brom's Liam Ridgewell (left) and Gareth McAuley pose with south Staffordshire community fundraiser Alison Bates

Show of support: West Brom's Liam Ridgewell (left) and Gareth McAuley pose with south Staffordshire community fundraiser Alison Bates

Football’s adoption of the poppy has been mired in controversy in recent years. England were prevented from wearing them on their kit against Spain at Wembley 12 months ago by world governing body FIFA.

Eventually, after a Sportsmail campaign
and statements from Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron, a
compromise was reached where the players wore specially manufactured
black armbands emblazoned with the poppy.

They also wore poppies printed on their anthem jackets and observed a period of silence before kick-off.

Respect: Wembley falls silent before kick-off last November

Respect: Wembley falls silent before kick-off last November

In 2009, Liverpool and Manchester United were the only top-flight clubs not to wear a poppy on their shirts, but in 2010 — the last time domestic fixtures fell on Remembrance weekend — every team sported the poppy.

Last year every Premier League club wore a poppy on the weekend of November 5-6, but there was no uniform design of the poppy.

Some
were printed on shirts, some embroidered and some fixed by heat
transfer. This year, after working with the Royal British Legion, who
run the Poppy Appeal, each strip will carry the same poppy design.

Poppy day: Gabby Agbonlahor in Aston Villa's shirt in 2011

Poppy day: Gabby Agbonlahor in Aston Villa's shirt in 2011

Most clubs will iron on printed poppies but a small number plan to carry an embroidered poppy.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: ‘The Royal British Legion is extremely grateful for the support that the Premier League and the 20 clubs are giving the Poppy Appeal. We look forward to seeing players, managers and staff wearing their poppies with pride over the coming weekends.’

Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Dane Coles make it into New Zealand"s squad for European tour

Uncapped Kerr-Barlow and Coles named in New Zealand's European tour squad

|

UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 1 November 2012

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has named two uncapped players in his squad for the world champions' autumn European tour.

Scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow and and hooker Dane Coles have both made Hansen's 32-man group for a schedule that features Test matches against Scotland, Italy, Wales and England.

Lock Ali Williams, meanwhile, is recalled after recovering from knee surgery, but players not considered for selection include Anthony Boric (neck), Colin Slade (leg) and Richard Kahui (shoulder).

Two new faces: Steve Hansen

Two new faces: Steve Hansen

The squad, comprising 18 forwards and 14 backs, boasts a combined cap total of 1,103 and will be led by World Cup captain Richie McCaw.

The All Blacks kick off their tour against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday week and they are due to arrive in Edinburgh tomorrow afternoon.

New Zealand squad

Backs: I Dagg, H Gear, C Jane, B Smith, J Savea, T Ellison, M Nonu, C Smith, B Barrett, D Carter, A Cruden, T Kerr-Barlow, A Smith, P Weepu.

Forwards: W Crockett, C Faumuina, B Franks, O Franks, T Woodcock, D Coles, A Hore, K Mealamu, B Retallick, L Romano, S Whitelock, A Williams, S Cane, R McCaw (capt), L Messam, K Read, A Thomson, V Vito.

'I would like to congratulate Tawera and Dane on their selection,' Hansen said.

'They are young and exciting players and have shown this year that they look more than capable of stepping up to Test match rugby.

'Tours to the northern hemisphere always bring unique challenges, and this tour will be no different.

'For many of the newer players in the All Blacks it will be the first time they have experienced Test matches in the United Kingdom and Europe, and they are always big occasions.

'Overall, the team has been very happy with what we have achieved so far this year, but nothing has changed. We are always looking to put in performances we are proud of, and we are always looking to improve.'

New Zealand, unbeaten winners of the southern hemisphere's inaugural Rugby Championship this year, also tackle Italy in Rome on November 17 before facing Wales seven days later and then England at Twickenham on December 1.

Edinburgh reject Saracens offer to play Heineken Cup game in South Africa

Edinburgh reject Saracens offer to play Heineken Cup game in South Africa

|

UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 11 October 2012

Edinburgh have rejected an approach by Saracens to play a Heineken Cup pool game between the teams in South Africa.

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Craig Docherty said the proposal was not 'commercially compelling'.

Saracens tackle Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Saturday in the opening Pool One fixture of this season's tournament.

No go: Edinburgh have rejected an offer from Saracens to play their Heineken Cup clash in South Africa

No go: Edinburgh have rejected an offer from Saracens to play their Heineken Cup clash in South Africa

But the Aviva Premiership club were keen to play the return fixture – scheduled for January 20 – in Cape Town.

Saracens have already taken one 'home' Heineken Cup fixture abroad this season, opting to tackle French club Racing Metro at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Saturday week.

Moves to play a Heineken game against Biarritz in Cape Town, meanwhile, did not come to fruition last term.

Edinburgh reached last season's Heineken semi-finals, beating four-time tournament winners Toulouse on the way in a thrilling quarter-final at Murrayfield that attracted a crowd close to 40,000.

Docherty said: 'As a club, our commitment is to our fans and other key stakeholders, such as sponsors, and fundamentally our goal is to qualify from what is a very challenging Heineken Cup pool.

'Following Edinburgh Rugby to South Africa is simply not an option for the vast majority whose support was so crucial to our journey to last season's semi-final.

Away day: Saracens will host French club Racing Metro at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels

Away day: Saracens will host French club Racing Metro at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels

Luke Benedict

'I am sure they will be desperate to support us in what could be a critical pool game.

'The case made by Saracens was not commercially compelling and, from a performance perspective, would have had a detrimental effect on our preparation for – and recovery from – this match.

'Edinburgh Rugby are open to new and innovative ideas, but the prospect of playing our final pool game in the southern hemisphere was simply not an option that we could seriously consider from a number of different perspectives.

'We consulted with tournament organisers ERC (European Rugby Cup) and Scottish Rugby throughout this process, and both are happy with our decision.'

Saracens' official fixture list currently has the Edinburgh game down to be played at Vicarage Road in Watford.

It would be Saracens' last game there before moving to a new home – Allianz Park in Hendon.

Chris Foy's World of Rugby

Tait's style is a welcome change from big hitters

For Leicester, it must be like having an exciting new signing – a dangerous attacking talent, young and English. For Mathew Tait, it surely feels like the start of a whole new career.

This legacy could make kids losers
Where there's a Bill there's a way to sort out TV row
Toulon say Non to letting Jenkins fly with the Lions
London Welsh have grounds to be upset over promotion sham
Law changes show IRB are going with the flow

To hell and back: Mathew Tait has been out injured for almost a year

SIX NATIONS 2012: Stuart Lancaster should get job – Alex Corbisiero

Corbisiero adds voice to calls for Lancaster to be awarded permanent England job

|

UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 18 March 2012

England prop Alex Corbisiero has made a strong case for the Rugby Football Union to keep Stuart Lancaster and his interim coaching team in place on a permanent basis.

Lancaster's bid for the job strengthened every week as England secured second place in the RBS 6 Nations championship, a campaign they rounded off with a 30-9 demolition of Ireland on Saturday.

Jake White has already bowed out of contention and Nick Mallett, thought to be another leading candidate, appears to have conceded the job to Lancaster.

Dominant: Alex Corbisiero (right) was impressive in England's win over Ireland

Dominant: Alex Corbisiero (right) was impressive in England's win over Ireland

Speaking after England's triumph over Ireland, Mallett said: 'You can't see the RFU wanting to change a coach when you look at the team and how happy they are.'

And that was exactly the message Corbisiero portrayed after he had played a lead role in the destruction of the Irish scrum.

'I have nothing but great words to say for (forwards coach) Graham Rowntree,' Corbisiero said.

'It is not my decision (what happens with the coaches), but we have all be very impressed with him. He is a guy that commands respect and players want to play for him – you can see that in the whole team.

'You can see that with Stuart Lancaster and Andy Farrell. We have a good environment, we play for each other and we play for the coaches.

Main man: Stuart Lancaster (centre) has been backed to continue his work

Main man: Stuart Lancaster (centre) has been backed to continue his work

'Whatever happens, happens, but there are a lot of positives where we are at the moment.'

Lancaster took the reins on a temporary basis after the World Cup debacle and his new-look team have restored a sense of pride in English rugby and delivered results on the field.

England won at Murrayfield for the first time in eight years and last weekend they ended France's 10-match unbeaten home run in the championship.

Lancaster's men rounded off the Six Nations with a victory over Ireland founded on a ferocious scrummaging performance, which earned a penalty try and allowed Owen Farrell to kick 20 points.

Team: Andy Farrell (right) and Paul Stridgeon have helped England bounce back

Team: Andy Farrell (right) and Paul Stridgeon have helped England bounce back

Ben Youngs came on to add a late second try with a quick tap penalty, which had been earned by another destructive England set piece effort.

With the front row boasting an average age of just 24, Corbisiero warned the global game there is a lot more to come from England's scrummagers.

'Last year Dylan (Hartley), Dan (Cole) and I learned a hard lesson against Ireland in Dublin, but we put a lot of things right,' Corbisiero said.

'I am very proud of the boys and very proud to be involved.

'Hopefully we have got a lot more years together to develop and keep improving. We showed that in each game, taking it a step up.

'I am really enjoying being in this environment under Rowntree with those guys playing. It has been absolutely exceptional.'

France"s Imanol Harinordoquy to atone for Scotland errors

Backlash! France star Harinordoquy's on a mission against Ireland

France back row Imanol Harinordoquy has warned Ireland he is determined to atone for his own shortcomings against Scotland.

Harinordoquy believes he fell well below his best in the 23-17 RBS 6 Nations victory at Murrayfield.

And the mighty Biarritz No 8, one of France's star performers during their march to last autumn's World Cup final, has braced Ireland for the backlash.

No way through: Imanol Harinordoquy was disappointed with his performance against Scotland

No way through: Imanol Harinordoquy was disappointed with his performance against Scotland

'I can and almost certainly must play better,' said the 32-year-old. 'In the first half in particular I had the impression that I spent most of the time defending.

'With regard to defending I was active whereas in offence I was too passive. In the second-half it was a little better.'

France misfired at the line-out against Scotland and Harinordoquy has pointed the finger of blame at himself.

The line-out is an area of Irish strength and Les Bleus, who have dispatched Italy and Scotland so far in this Six Nations, can ill-afford another bad day at the office.

Getting to grips: France only just squeaked past Scotland

Getting to grips: France only just squeaked past Scotland

'I take responsibility for that because I was captain of the lineout,' he said. 'I was too focused on the patterns and calls we had made during the week leading up to the match.

'I was unable to adapt when they played a different pattern at some line-outs. We came under a lot of pressure in this area.

'We had already done a lot of work on their line-out habits in the lead-up to the original game before it was postponed. But perhaps it is best to leave it more to intuition on the day.'

Victory over Ireland would keep France on course for a Grand Slam decider against Wales on May 17, but Harinordoquy insists improvement is essential against Ireland for that to happen.

'Offensively we were all over the place against Scotland, launching solo attacks without taking into account a more orderly approach to counter-attacking,' he said.

'We were a bit disorganised. The players, including myself, sometimes took too long to follow the man with the ball and provide some impetus behind him. It's imperative we correct that.'

Ready for a reaction: France will hope the snow stays away this time!

Ready for a reaction: France will hope the snow stays away this time!

Rory Lamont suspected broken leg

Suspected broken leg for Scotland wing Lamont sustained during France defeat

Scotland wing Rory Lamont suffered a suspected broken leg in the 23-17 RBS 6 Nations loss to France at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Lamont was winning his 29th cap and was replaced after 30 minutes after landing awkwardly while contesting a restart.

The Glasgow Warriors back was taken from the field on a stretcher, with Scotland leading 10-7.

Help: Rory Lamont receives treatment

Help: Rory Lamont receives treatment

Lamont required lengthy treatment before going off, with Mike Blair (dead leg) and Greig Laidlaw (head knock) also leaving the field prematurely.

Head coach Andy Robinson said: 'We lacked a little bit of composure when Rory Lamont went off just before half-time, which allowed France back into the game.'

Rugby World Cup finalists France clawed back an early 10-0 deficit and responded swiftly to going 17-13 down midway through the second half to triumph, although there were numerous positives for Scotland.

Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones scored their first Test tries, Greig Laidlaw kicked five points and Duncan Weir two, but France responded with tries from Wesley Fofana and Maxime Medard, 10 points from Morgan Parra and a Lionel Beauxis drop goal.

Blow: Lamont's ankle appears to twist under pressure from a tackle

Blow: Lamont's ankle appears to twist under pressure from a tackle

Scotland, who lost to England and Wales earlier this month, have beaten France once in 13 attempts in Six Nations competition – in 2006 – and have now lost five successive Test matches for the first time since 2004, when they finished with the Wooden Spoon.

It is a record which will lead to further conjecture over the future of Robinson – now with two wins from 13 Six Nations fixtures in charge – but there were further illustrations of why the former England boss retains belief in his charges.

Robinson, who has a contract with the Scottish Rugby Union until after the 2015 World Cup, was asked whether he intends to remain in post or if he might resign at the end of the tournament.

'I can't hide away from what you're saying and you're right to bring it up,' said Robinson of the damning statistics.

Sad: Scotland head coach Andy Robinson confirmed the injury

Sad: Scotland head coach Andy Robinson confirmed the injury

'I have total belief that we have the ability to win and that belief was strengthened even more today, as it was against Wales and the England game.'

Robinson lamented the decision of referee Wayne Barnes to award France a second-half penalty, when the head coach believed it should have been given to the hosts for two indiscretions by visiting centre Aurelien Rougerie, who went through a ruck and to ground before kicking the ball while on the floor.

Robinson added: 'I think the turning point of the game was at 17-13 and a penalty which I believe – and I have watched it – should go Scotland's way in front of the referee. It doesn't and France go and score seven points.

'There were two offences which we felt could have been picked up – and pretty clear as well.

'That was a key moment of the game. It changed the balance of it.'

France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre had no complaints about Barnes' performance, but when questioned about Robinson's reaction to Medard's try, wondered about the validity of Jones' score, which came after John Barclay won the ball cleanly.

Delight: Maxime Medard runs in his try

Delight: Maxime Medard runs in his try

He said: 'Maybe I can complain about the (Jones) try in the second half. It was so quick, for me it was a ruck and after I saw the ball it was a try. I need to watch the game again to say exactly.

'I found the referee very consistent. It was a very quick game with a lot of turnovers by both sides.'

Saint-Andre praised the character of his side and paid tribute to Scotland's display.

He added: 'I'm proud of my team because it was physical, it was hard, but we didn't panic.

'Scotland were fantastic in the first 20 minutes. They played very well.

'They play a quick game and it was tough for us, but after the 20 minutes and after we were 10 points down we controlled the game.

'Second half our scrum was good, in the ruck we did very well.

'It's a good win, but I'm sure if Scotland carry on like this they can beat any team in the world.'

France now play Ireland – in a postponed game due to a frozen pitch – England and Wales in successive weeks.

'It's a huge game for us next Sunday in the Stade de France, if it's not freezing,' Saint-Andre said.

Medard went off midway through the second half with a knee injury and is set to undergo a scan on Monday.

Scotland 17 France 23: Brave show from Robinson"s boys

Scotland 17 France 23: Brave show from Robinson's boys but Les Bleus roll on

Valiant Scotland remain in search of a first win of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations after Rugby World Cup finalists France earned a narrow victory in Edinburgh.

Murrayfield was given a glimpse of Scotland's potential, but the hosts fell short once more as Les Bleus clawed back an early 10-0 deficit and responded swiftly to going 17-13 down midway through the second half to triumph.

Scotland, who lost to England and Wales earlier this month, have beaten France once in 13 attempts in Six Nations competition – in 2006 – and have now lost five successive Test matches for the first time since 2004, when they finished with the Wooden Spoon.

We're not feeling Bleu: Wesley Fofana is mobbed by team-mates during the win over Scotland

We're not feeling Bleu: Wesley Fofana is mobbed by team-mates during the win over Scotland

MATCH FACTS

SCOTLAND: Hogg, R. Lamont, S. Lamont, Morrison, Jones, Laidlaw, Blair, Jacobsen, Ford, Cross, Gray, Hamilton, Barclay, Rennie, Denton.

Replacements: De Luca for R. Lamont (31), Weir for Laidlaw (48), Cusiter for Blair (31), S. Lawson for Ford (69), Kalman for Cross (62), Kellock for Hamilton (69), Vernon for Denton (53).

Tries: Hogg, Jones. Cons: Laidlaw, Weir. Pens: Laidlaw.

FRANCE: Medard, Clerc, Rougerie, Fofana, Malzieu, Trinh-Duc, Parra, Poux, Szarzewski, Mas, Pape, Maestri, Dusautoir, Harinordoquy, Picamoles.

Replacements: Beauxis for Medard (62), Dupuy for Parra (75), Debaty for Poux (51), Servat for Szarzewski (51), Nallet for Maestri (66), Bonnaire for Picamoles (58). Not Used: Mermoz.

Tries: Fofana, Medard. Cons: Pape, Parra. Pens: Parra 2. Drop Goals: Beauxis.

Attendance: 67,200

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU).

It is a record which will lead to
further conjecture over the future of head coach Andy Robinson – now
with two wins from 13 Six Nations fixtures in charge – but there were
further illustrations of why the former England boss retains belief in
his charges.

Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones scored
their first Test tries, Greig Laidlaw kicked five points and Duncan Weir
two, while the forward pack – as demanded by Robinson – went toe-to-toe
with a formidable French unit.

Ultimately the class of France, who
meet Ireland, England and Wales in the next three weeks, told as Wesley
Fofana and Maxime Medard scored tries, Morgan Parra kicked two
conversions and two penalties and Lionel Beauxis a drop goal.

There were mitigating factors in the defeat – Rory Lamont suffered an apparently serious knee injury,
Mike Blair a dead leg and Laidlaw a head injury – but it does not hide
the fact that unless victory in Dublin is claimed in two weeks' time,
Scotland could be facing a Wooden Spoon decider in Italy on the final
day of the championship.

Recently-retired duo Nathan Hines and
Dan Parks presented the match ball, but it was the new generation who
were facing the team second only to New Zealand at the World Cup.

Hogg, making his first Test start as
one of four changes from the side which lost 27-13 to Wales, had been
denied a try on debut in Cardiff but there was no doubt about his effort
in the corner after eight minutes.

Laidlaw, who missed an early penalty,
switched the play, and found Jones, who sent over Hogg, the 19-year-old
Glasgow Warriors full-back who recently discovered he is related to
George Best.

It was just reward for a purposeful opening and Laidlaw converted.

Blair sparked another attack but
lacked support, before Ross Rennie halted a promising French foray
forward by stripping the ball from Imanol Harinordoquy.

Making a break: Scotland prop Ross Ford makes a a run during the RBS Six Nations match against France

Making a break: Scotland prop Ross Ford makes a a run during the RBS Six Nations match against France

Scotland were given a reminder of the
danger of France when Blair and Jones lost possession inside the
visitors' 22 and Medard picked up, before sprinting into the hosts'
half.

The France full-back found Vincent
Clerc, who kicked, but was hauled down by Hogg and Medard was beaten to
the ball by Sean Lamont.

France transgressed following a Ross Ford burst and Laidlaw kicked the hosts into a 10-0 lead after 26 minutes.

Going over: Wesley Fofana scores for France

Going over: Wesley Fofana scores for France

But moments later, the advantage was trimmed to three points.

Francois Trinh-Duc broke through an
attempted tackle from opposite number Laidlaw and the ball was recycled
quickly, with Clerc's sleight of hand finding Fofana, who evaded three
would-be tacklers to finish clinically. Parra converted.

Scotland suffered two further blows,
with the loss of Rory Lamont, who landed awkwardly challenging for the
restart, and Blair. Nick De Luca and Chris Cusiter came on.

Big tackle: Scotland's Rory Lamont takes down France's Wesley Fofana

Big tackle: Scotland's Rory Lamont takes down France's Wesley Fofana

Parra levelled the scores after
Scotland pulled down a maul but missed the chance to give Les Bleus an
interval lead by sending another penalty wide.

The scrum-half put France in front
for the first time early in the second half before Laidlaw was replaced
by Weir, who made his debut.

The pace of the game decreased with numerous substitutions taking place.

Worrying signs: Rory Lamont receives oxygen after sustaining an injury

Worrying signs: Rory Lamont receives oxygen after sustaining an injury

John Barclay was the catalyst for Scotland reclaiming the lead.

The flanker made a sensational tackle and steal to feed De Luca, who fed fellow replacement Richie Vernon.

Vernon drew the defender and found Jones to touch down and Weir converted.

Power play: France's captain Thierry Dusautoir runs with a ball

Power play: France's captain Thierry Dusautoir runs with a ball

The four-point advantage was
short-lived as France wing Julien Malzieu trampled over Jones and fed
Medard to score. Parra converted for a three-point lead with 20 minutes
left.

France's defence remained stern and the visitors continued to sap the energy from their opponents as they moved down field.

Flying tackle: John Barclay of Scotland is tackled by Aurelien Rougerie

Flying tackle: John Barclay of Scotland is tackled by Aurelien Rougerie

Thierry Dusautoir led the way into
the Scotland 22 and France teed-up Beauxis for a successful drop-goal
which stretched the lead to six points.

Beauxis dragged a late penalty wide, but France celebrated a second win of the tournament.