It was the third time in four matches Scotland has conceded a try early. It got only better for France, which outclassed the Scots across the park and posted 30-plus points against a team other than Italy for the first time in nearly three years.
Camille Lopez added a penalty earned from their superior scrum, and quick ruck ball gave right wing Damien Penaud an overlap to put in fullback Maxime Medard. Adam Hastings slotted a penalty for Scotland's only points, then was sin-binned moments later for blocking a pass.
France took advantage by setting up a lineout maul, and No. 8 Gregory Alldritt peeled off to score his third try in two games against Scotland this year. That made it 20-3 at halftime, which came as a relief for the Scots.
The visitors were stressed in the tight and loose, and it didn't take long in the second spell for coach Gregor Townsend to debut center Rory Hutchinson and lock Scott Cummings around Medard's second try from quick hands.
Scotland had a try by Huw Jones disallowed for a forward pass, and France finished with a score by scrumhalf Antoine Dupont. France goes to Murrayfield for the return match next Saturday.
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