British & Irish Lions

Ritchie 'shocked' by Haouas red-card punch

Mohamed Haouas (Getty Images)
Mohamed Haouas (Getty Images)

Scotland's Jamie Ritchie said he was "shocked" after being punched in the face by France prop Mohamed Haouas in Sunday's 28-17 Six Nations victory at Murrayfield.

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Haouas was red-carded by referee Paul Williams after catching flanker and eventual man-of-the-match Ritchie on his cheek.

"I was a bit shocked. I must have one of those faces," Ritchie joked, with a visible red mark on the left side of his face.

"I saw Nick Haining on his own and three French guys around him, so I ran in and I got punched in the face.

"I don't know what was going through his head but I caught the brunt of it," he added.

Ritchie, 23, who made his 24th Test appearance as Scotland ended Les Bleus' hopes of a first Grand Slam since 2010, said his side exploited the numerical advantage.

"We knew they would be a number down so potentially there would be space elsewhere," he said.

"For us it was about holding onto the ball and I think we executed well," he added.

The Edinburgh loose forward said targeting the visitors' scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, who set up Damian Penaud's try with a crossfield kick, was just one aspect of an impressive defensive display.

"He's an exceptional player. I think we nullified him pretty well apart from that one kick he got away which was pretty outstanding," he said.

"We talked about being physical and we fronted up pretty well and it's something to build on. Our defence throughout the tournament has been the best," he added.

Gregor Townsend's side, who beat Italy in Rome two weeks ago, head to Wales next Saturday. Ritchie's third Test appearance came in Cardiff in November 2018.

"It's a cauldron. My gran had died the day before I got down there so my mind was on other things, so I can't really remember too much about that time. It's an amazing stadium to play at," said Ritchie.

"It was somewhere when I was a kid I'd watch the game at the Millennium Stadium and say 'I want to play there one day, it looks like such a great place to play.' I'm really looking forward to it," he added.

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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
Pakistan 326
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