France 22-16 Scotland: Finn Russell fluffed kick because of nerves – Doddie Weir
Finn Russell’s fluffed conversion attempt in Sunday’s defeat by France was probably down to nerves, according to former Scotland forward Doddie Weir.
A cry of “take it, take it” can be heard before the fly-half fired under the bar from close range after the ball fell off the tee.
It appears the Scots feared a video review as the French claimed an infringement in the lead-up to the try.
“This is where it goes to the nervousness,” Weir told BBC Scotland.
“It was quite bizarre. Finn Russell’s normally able to take his time.
“When that happens, you’ve got 90 seconds to take your conversion from touchdown. Why he rushed it, I don’t know.
“If he understood what was going on, he saw that the ball was falling off the tee, he could pick it up and drop-goal it.”
A successful conversion would have put Scotland 18-16 ahead.
Instead, France went on to win 22-16 and Weir agreed with Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg’s assessment that it was a missed opportunity to secure a win in Paris for the first time since 1999.
“Would that two points make a difference?” said Weir. “In a way, it might have done because Scotland would have gone into the lead then and mentally the French would have maybe had a different tactic.
“You’ve got to make your opportunities count. They had opportunities, they didn’t take them and it’s a shame this came into the game.”
However, Weir thought that running France close in Paris was another indication of Scottish improvement.
“There are areas of the match in which the team will be quite disappointed because they should have gone on to win it,” he said.
“But it’s a very difficult place to win. The Scots haven’t done that since 1999, so that’s quite a record in itself.
“But they’ve come a long way. There were certainly a lot of attacking situations the Scots had and I think the boys were just a bit nervous down in France.”
Scotland’s scrum was under constant pressure from the heavier and more experienced French pack and props Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson, plus hooker Fraser Brown, all went off injured before the final whistle.
“Unfortunately, the boys who are in are relatively inexperienced in the front row because there’s been a few injuries there and they have shed a lot of experience,” added Weir.
“The French are quite big and strong up front. With that, there’s a learning period for Dell and Fagerson and hopefully, on the back of that, they can get better, they can get more experience.
“They will be up against a strong scrum in the next game against Wales and I think that is one area where Wales will look to dominate within the scrum because it was quite disappointing.
“So hopefully that can be strengthened or tactically they can maybe get the ball in a bit quicker and away so it doesn’t give the opportunity to the opposition.”