- France sealed a narrow 16-20 Six Nations victory over Scotland at Murrayfield
- The hosts were denied a last-gasp winning try as the ball was held up
- Replays appear to show the ball being grounded over the line by Scotland
Controversy dominated post-match discussion of Scotland’s Six Nations defeat against France on Saturday as the Murrayfield hosts were denied a try during the game’s final play.
Scotland ended up being beaten 16-20 by France in a tense second game of the annual tournament but looked to have snatched victory at the death as they spilled over the line.
A late break led by Scots co-captain Finn Russell led to several spells of forward play that ended with Sam Skinner navigating his way through a pack of French bodies.
Opposing players got underneath the ball to try and stop it being put down onto the grass with referee Nic Berry initially giving a ‘held up’ call that TMO eventually refused to overrule.
Scotland looked destined for a no-fuss defeat as France won a scrum in the dying embers of the match and defended the ball.
Scotland were denied a winning try against France as the ball was deemed to have been ‘held up’
Scotland co-captain Finn Russell believed the ball had been touched down on the line
But a lapse in concentration allowed Russell to steal possession back and give Scotland one last roll of the dice to steal what would have been a famous victory over the French.
Berry was close to play and was quick to decide that the ball had been held up but decided to send the decision up to TMO where it would be analysed on replays showing the incident from different angles.
The melee of bodies clambering to get to the ball made it hard for a clear image showing the entire ball to be displayed, but one shot appears to show the ball being grounded after slipping off the foot of a French defender.
The ball begins at the start of the replays resting above the ground, but it isn’t stable and after rolling onto a foot then moves onto the ground and appears to be over the line.
Optimism from Scotland players and supporters inside the ground begins to grow as TMO and Berry continue to converse about whether the initial ‘no try’ call should be overturned.
It was later decided that because the entirety of the ball couldn’t be seen there wasn’t conclusive evidence from the video assistant to overturn the ‘no try’ decision and the match ended with France claiming a controversial win.
Paddy Power were convinced that the ball had been grounded and are now refunding losing bets on Scotland to beat France in the Six Nations.
Speaking to BBC Sport immediately after full-time, Scots co-skipper Russell fumed over the decision, stating: ‘I think it was a tough second half. The whole game was an arm wrestle.
Sam Skinner carried the ball into defending France players and thought the ball had been grounded
Scotland players celebrate an earlier try that kept them within touching distance of France
Berry gave a decision of held up that wasn’t overturned by TMO due to there not being a clear sight of the ball being grounded
‘France came out the winning side tonight, but for me that was a try at the end. That’s not for me to decide, that’s up to the referee. That’s why he has the job.
‘We’ve got to take this defeat on the chin and get better for England. We can’t let the referee decide what happens in a game, that’s up to us to play better and make these matches a victory.
‘The way we got back into the game, and the way I believe we scored shows the character we’ve got.’
Scotland are currently second in the Six Nations standings with five points from two matches as England, Ireland, Wales and Italy still to play.