David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

England are Six Nations champions after unlikely Scots conjure brilliant win over France

Les Bleus needed to win to stand a chance of claiming the title.

ENGLAND WERE CROWNED Six Nations champions after Scotland shattered France’s title hopes with a pulsating 29-18 victory at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Les Bleus needed a win to have any chance of denying England the title, but Scotland ended a 10 match-losing run against France stretching back a decade and ensured the destination of the trophy will not hinge on next Saturday’s showdown in Paris.

A fine try from captain Guilhem Guirado gave France an early lead, but quickfire scores from Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor stunned Guy Noves’ side after the recalled Francois Trinh-Duc missed a conversion and a penalty.

Gael Fickou went over to cut Scotland’s lead to 18-12 at half-time, but Tim Visser scored the only try of the second half to give Scotland back-to-back wins and ensure fierce rivals England can head to the French capital with the title in the bag.

Scotland v France - 2016 RBS Six Nations - BT Murrayfield Danny Lawson Danny Lawson

France were devoid of flair in their defeat to Wales last time out, but took only four minutes to show what they are capable of as Fickou made the break and Guirado rounded off a slick attack which moved from left to right.

Trinh-Duc was unable to add the extras and also missed a penalty he really ought to have slotted over after Scotland lost Finn Russell to a head injury, with Peter Horne replacing him.

A simple Laidlaw penalty got Scotland on the board and he edged them in front from the tee 21 minutes in after France were penalised at the scrum.

France looked far more dangerous, but handling errors halted their momentum and they were made to pay when Scotland scored two tries in the space of three minutes late in the first half.

First the impressive Horne broke through before feeding Richie Gray and Hogg was on hand to finish, then Taylor took a quick tap penalty and burst away to go over in the corner.

Scotland v France - 2016 RBS Six Nations - BT Murrayfield Danny Lawson Danny Lawson

The try was allowed to stand despite Wenceslas Lauret’s shirt being tugged in the build-up by Laidlaw, who converted having missed from the tee following Hogg’s score.

However, Fickou barged his way over and Maxime Machenaud converted to cut the gap to six points just before the break.

Hogg nailed a penalty from over 50 metres out early in the second half, but two Machenaud three-pointers allowed France to trim the deficit to 21-18 and the visitors would almost certainly have been level had Guirado not opted to go for the corner rather than a kick at goal.

But Visser stunned France by touching down in the corner following a sublime no-look pass from Hogg and Laidlaw added another penalty to seal Scotland’s first home win in the Six Nations for three years.

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