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France overcome deficit to beat Scotland

February 26, 2012 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
Maxime Medard runs clear of the Scotland defense to score his try in France's 23-17 win.
Maxime Medard runs clear of the Scotland defense to score his try in France's 23-17 win.
  • France recover from a 10-point deficit to defeat Scotland 23-17 in Six Nations
  • Each side scores two tries but Morgan Parra kicks 10 decisive points for France
  • It is France's second successive victory and they remain just behind leaders Wales

(CNN) -- Rugby World Cup finalists France made it two wins from two matches in this year's Six Nations tournament, but they were made to battle by a dogged home side before beating Scotland 23-17 at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Each side scored two tries apiece, but scrum-half Morgan Parra kicked 10 points for the visitors, which proved to be decisive.

Scotland had lost their opening two matches in the competition, to England and Wales, but began the match strongly and soon had heavy favorites France in trouble by opening up a 10-point lead.

Welsh edge England in Six Nations thriller

They took an eighth minute lead when 19-year-old full-back Stuart Hogg went over in the corner to become Scotland's youngest try-scorer in 79 years.

Greg Laidlaw kicked the conversion and a subsequent penalty to ensure the home side took their advantage to 10-0 before France launched a fightback.

Center Wesley Fofana reduced the arrears with a well-worked try, converted by Parra, before a 35-meter Parra penalty made it all-square at half-time.

Another Parra penalty earlier in the second period gave France the lead for the first time, but back came Scotland and wing Lee Jones' first try for his country, converted by Duncan Weir, put the hosts 17-13 ahead.

But a see-saw match took another twist when French wing Julien Malzieu ran through the attempted challenge of Jones -- and he passed for full-back Maxime Medard to score a under the posts.

A Parra conversion and a Lionel Beauxis drop-goal with 11 minutes remaining secured a hard-fought win for France to leave a possible grand slam of five victories still a real possibility.

Wales remain top of the table with three wins from three matches and it already looks like the final day showdown between Wales and France in Cardiff next month will decide the title.

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