For a second week in a row, Gregor Townsend was in the coaching box having flashbacks to a dramatic Scotland defeat.  

While referee Nic Berry and TMO Brian MacNeice debated whether Sam Skinner had grounded the ball over the line, Townsend said his mind drifted back to 20 years ago, when a last minute try for Les Bleus saw them leave Murrayfield victorious. 

Townsend admitted the defeat to France, and the manner of the loss, will linger.  

He said: “I had flashbacks to 1994 when we lost in the last minute of the game. 

“I think the players move on much quicker than us coaches. We have to go through the video - we’ve looked at it a few times in the changing room and we obviously lived it live, the decision and the discussion around the decision.  

“You don’t want to get into it too much because it’s the same outcome: we lost, and the try wasn’t awarded. “ 

The Scotland coach admitted to some frustration his side did not make more of a dominant first half. 

He added: “I think we’ll look at how we could have been more ahead at half-time and how we should not have let France have an opportunity to win the game - that’s the things we’ll take from it. 

“I thought the team’s game management and the collective mentality was brilliant, something they’ve been working on. The decision-making around where to put France under pressure was spot on. 

"There are a lot of positives - obviously it would have been brilliant to have the victory, but that wasn’t the case.” 

Despite the match-deciding decision going against his side, Townsend felt Scotland stayed on the right side of Australian referee Berry throughout. Scotland conceded only six penalties in the match, compared with 16 against Wales 

"The discipline was outstanding. It’s more the decision that they’ve taken a lot of time pore over and we can all see the ball was over the line.” 

READ MORE: Gregor Townsend 'gutted' after loss to France

Townsend reiterated it was “clearly” not the right call from the officials.  

He said: “If it was held up and we’re here going ‘we’re gutted, we’ve been held up to win a game’ then that would have been the right decision, but it was clearly not the right decision they came to in the end.” 

He said he will ask World Rugby for feedback on the incident, but added “it doesn’t really matter” as it would not change the outcome.  

While France coach Fabien Galthie said he felt it was clear from the first replay Scotland had not grounded the ball over the line, his counterpart admitted to frustration that the try was not awarded after a lengthy review.   

"People make errors. I do a lot as a coach, players even do too, it’s just frustrating.  

“They had time because it was the end of the game and they certainly didn’t rush over it and we just got that outcome, unfortunately.” 

Scotland may have three front-line players back from injury for the visit of Steve Borthwick’s unbeaten England.  

Darcy Graham and WP Nel may both feature for Edinburgh against Zebre after returning from injury. Jamie Ritchie is expected to be given an opportunity in that match after losing his Scotland place.  

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Blair Kinghorn may also come into contention for the England match, Townsend revealed. 

"Darcy is now fully training, so you might see him running around with Edinburgh this week. WP Nel might be involved with Edinburgh.  

“With Blair, it will all depend on how he comes back to training next week. He’ll start running next week so if that progresses quickly he could be available too.” 

Kyle Steyn may also return having missed the France defeat with his partner in labour.  

“Kyle is not injured so he’ll be available. Whether he plays with Glasgow or stays with us, we’ll see.” 

Townsend said the manner of the defeat to France will not be used to motivate the squad for the Calcutta Cup match on February 24.  

“The galvanising of the group for England is, well, it’s England. It’s another game at home and we’ve got two weeks to improve and go and see if we can beat England,” he added.