JAMIE RITCHIE insists the punch Mohamed Haouas landed on him in the first half of Scotland's victory against France was just "rugby handbags".

The French prop was red-carded for his efforts and Scotland went on to record a comfortable 20-17 victory at Murrayfield.

And while the replays of the punch showed Ritchie was caught full in the face, he was philosophical about the incident, despite the fact he was hit on the cheekbone he broke last summer and subsequentky had metal plates inserted in.

"The nose is fine – I got hit in the cheek! It’s the metal cheek, though, so it’s fine," he said

"I was a bit shocked. I don’t know how it all started. It’s just rugby handbags, then that happened.

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

"I don’t know what was going through his head – but I caught the brunt of it, I think."

Scotland put in a defensively stellar performance at Murrayfield, which clearly rattled the French who were going for their first grand slam in a decade. And Ritchie admitted he and his compatriots are extremely satisfied with how they were able to execute their tactics.

"We had a game plan going in and, for us, it was about sticking to that. It was just about holding on to the ball and looking for space," he said.

"We defended very well, credit to the boys for that. It was a great team performance on that side of the ball.

"We knew what they were coming with, we knew they would be physical. They’d made the least amount of passes in the tournament. They're big men, so the boys did well to front up to that. We’re delighted to win."

Meanwhile, captain Stuart Hogg revealed the red card shown to Haouas did not change Scotland's approach at all, and he was incredibly proud of his team's performance under quite considerable pressure.

"It didn’t change what we wanted to do. We wanted to be physical up front and exploit their blitz defence as a back line. We stuck to our plan," the captain said of the sending off.

"We talked before the game and said great memories are made by great opportunities.

"This France game was a great opportunity for us as a 23 and as a country, to achieve something special. I believe we’ve done that."