The openside flanker impresses against France at BT Murrayfield
Rory Darge scores try on first Scotland start
France had been slick and quick in the first quarter, scoring two tries – through Paul Willemse and Yoram Moefana – in five minutes to lead 12-3 after 13 minutes.
But the Scots hit back with a Darge try just before the half-hour mark.
Scotland had been awarded a penalty as Melvyn Jaminet clattered into Sam Skinner as he leapt to head the ball and got close to scoring from the subsequent lineout, with Ali Price and Zander Fagerson both driving over from pick-and-goes but being held up.
A high tackle resulted in another penalty and this time the Scots opted for a quick tap from Stuart McInally.
The ball was worked through a few pick-and-goes again before it was given to Darge and the openside burst past Anthony Jelonch to score his first Test try and get the hosts back into the game at 12-10. No wonder he was celebrating.
The flanker had been due to start at blindside against the French but was moved to openside when Hamish Watson was ruled out on the eve of the match following a positive Covid test – and he looked at home in the No 7 shirt.
As well as the try he produced a couple of important turnovers in the first 40 minutes as well making his tackles. He had commentators saying that “everything he touches is golden” during that first half!
Scotland did have other opportunities to score tries in that first half, Duhan van der Merwe making breaks and Stuart Hogg finding space, but they couldn’t convert them due to knock-ons and other errors.
Then a Gael Fickou try in the final play before half-time, converted by Jaminet, increased France’s lead to 19-10 at the break.
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