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'It's not something I've experienced except maybe when playing La Rochelle'

By PA
Rory Darge /Getty

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Rory Darge admitted it was a case of mixed emotions after his first start for Scotland brought him a memorable try and a heavy defeat to France.

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The 22-year-old Glasgow flanker touched down just before the half hour to help bring the Scots back to within two points of their red-hot opponents at 12-10.

However, Grand Slam-chasing France ultimately pulled away to win 36-17 at Murrayfield and kill off the hosts’ hopes of winning the Guinness Six Nations title.

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“It was a proud moment lining up for the anthems and then to get that score but at the end of the day it was a loss and we’re gutted about the result,” said Darge, who made his debut as a substitute against Wales a fortnight previously.

“I was very nervous before the game because obviously it was my first start at a new level. It’s not quite doubts, but you have nervousness about how you’re going to fare. I was still confident but I had nerves.

“The pace was very fast. It’s not something I’ve experienced much except maybe when I played La Rochelle with Glasgow. It was also probably a step up in terms of physicality.”

Scotland went into the Six Nations with high hopes but after just one win in their first three games, their final two matches away to Italy and Ireland now have significantly less riding on them.

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Darge Scotland
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“They’re still huge games for us,” said Darge. “We have to look forward to them because they’re all we have left now in the tournament. We’re gutted that potentially we’re not going to be playing for as much as we could have been if we had beaten France but they’re still massive games.”

The French, on the other hand, still have plenty to play for as they chase a first Grand Slam since 2010. Toulouse prop Cyril Baille was pleased with the way his side turned the screw on Scotland in the second half.

“There was a lot of commitment, we knew we would need that,” said Baille.

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“What was also important to us was to start the second half well, which is what we didn’t do against Ireland. Here, we were able to stay well on our bases, we were able to get out of our half well and we were able to react quickly, which allowed us to stay clear on the scoreboard.”

Baille was grateful for the backing of a huge French support at Murrayfield.

“When we have the crowd with us, it’s always good memories and they supported us a lot, particularly with la Marseillaise,” he said.

“It was really impressive because it was an away game and it almost felt like being at home. It was incredible. They were huge, they pushed us to the end and it was also thanks to them that we won.”

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