Jamie Ritchie fancies Scottish chances in Six Nations closer

Jamie Ritchie is in bullish mood ahead of Scotland’s final Six Nations match with Wales this weekend.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 08: Mohammed Haouas of France punches Jamie Ritchie of Scotland and is later sent off after being shown a red card during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield on March 08, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 08: Mohammed Haouas of France punches Jamie Ritchie of Scotland and is later sent off after being shown a red card during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield on March 08, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 08: Mohammed Haouas of France punches Jamie Ritchie of Scotland and is later sent off after being shown a red card during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield on March 08, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The former Howe of Fife man, from Strathkinnes, had an eventful 80 minutes in the country’s 28-17 win over France at Murrayfield on Sunday.

He was involved in two of Scotland’s three tries, was voted man of the match, and, shortly before half time, took a punch from French tight head prop Mohamed Haouas which saw the visitor sent off.

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But Ritchie shrugged the incident off and kick started the move which saw Sean Maitland go over on the stroke of half time.

The second try was started by Stuart Hogg whose kick was collected by Ali Price.

Price fed Sam Johnston, who found Ritchie who gave the scoring pass to Maitland.

Speaking after the game to the BBC, Ritchie said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Huge energy from the crowd and the boys were out of their skin. Awesome.

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“We love playing at home in front of everyone and we wanted to do it for them and for ourselves.

“I think there’s been a lot of chat around this tournament for us and we knew we had the opportunity to win some games and we are glad to get two now.”

On the red card incident, he added: “Look, it’s international rugby, tempers get heated sometimes. It’s a very physical game and sometimes stuff happens.”

The victory gives Scotland the chance to finish third in the group should they beat Wales away from home on Saturday.

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When asked if it was an opportunity the Scots could grasp, Ritchie replied simply: “Why not?”

Fellow former Howe of Fife player George Horne also played his part in the weekend’s victory.

Horne came on after 59 minutes to replace Ali Price at scrum half and was fairly closely involved in the action, digging the ball out of the rucks. He nearly scored a try on 70 minutes when Chris Harris poked the ball over the goal line with a kick through and Horne chipped it further on but it went over the dead ball line before he could reach it.