In terms of sheer drama, you could scarcely have scripted a more pulse-heightening finale.
But after five tension-laden minutes of deliberation between referee Nic Berry and TMO Brian MacNeice, the call came – no try and it was French jerseys leaping in the air in celebration.
Up in the coaches’ box Scotland boss Gregor Townsend’s mood had gone from quiet confidence that Sam Skinner’s late burrow over the line had touched grass for a famous win, to bemusement that the officials had concluded that they could not confidently say the ball was grounded.
Townsend said it felt like having glory snatched from their grasp but also conceded that Scotland should have done enough to ensure that victory was achieved on their own terms.
Put simply, for the majority of the match the Scots were the superior team but they did not get enough points on the board when they were on top.
And after an opening match where they were very nearly reeled in from an apparently unassailable lead over Wales, it is another post-mortem with more questions than answers.
Scrutiny must only start from the base point that this is an excellent Scotland team, one of the best of the modern era. Standards, and therefore expectations, are raised.
In Cardiff they found themselves on the wrong side of the referee and the momentum that the concession of multiple penalties handed to Wales was only arrested just before it was too late.
At Murrayfield on Saturday Scotland looked the dominant side for long spells, living with the French physicality and playing their brand of attacking rugby when it was right to do so.
But Scotland got mired in a possession kicking game that allowed the French to regain some energy which ultimately bought them the winning try.
It is a game of fine margins but Scotland have to develop a ruthlessness which narrows the path for sides to claw their way back into games.
England are the next opponents after the championship takes a week’s break and the Calcutta Cup fixture has been enormously fruitful for Townsend’s men in recent years.
The head coach will be firmly hoping to have two of his best attacking players – full back Blair Kinghorn and winger Darcy Graham – back to fitness for the match-up with the Auld Enemy in Edinburgh.
The Six Nations is only five games long and any defeat can feel like the tournament has collapsed in on you.
But taking care of England and keeping the bragging rights north of the border can fire the Scots back into the championship mix and keep hopes burning into the final games in March.
After the first season of Netflix’s documentary ‘Six Nations; Full Contact’ was released to high praise, the cameras are back following every move the teams make.
France boss Fabien Gathie joked the last minute drama at Murrayfield was perfect for audiences tuning in. Townsend will hope for more Scottish show-stealing coming up – but with happier endings for him and his men.
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