It was a try. No question. But it wasn’t a try. Was it?

If like me, you have been following the many months of discord in Scottish football over the introduction of VAR you will be aware that those who sit in judgment over replays of a referee’s decision, or lack of one, are on a hiding to nothing, because for one side or other, VAR will never get it right. 

I had hoped rugby might be more objective, and more factual, but Saturday proved me wrong. Overwhelmingly the Scottish commentariat and social media wallahs were sure Sam Skinner had grounded the ball and won the match in the last seconds, as was I, while the French as a nation were equally convinced the score had not been made. 

Doesn’t matter, the referee’s decision is always final, and so Scotland lost a match we should have won long before the final denouement. 

In all the discourse I have seen since Saturday, most people have concentrated on the ‘We wuz robbed’ conclusion to the match rather than the fact that Scotland did a very good job of not winning by playing the game France wanted us to play. We kicked the ball far too often and that suited France.

In my dim and distant past, I was once coached by a man who loved physical contact and running rugby tactics above all. He once said of rucking ‘If you can’t stamp on a colleague who can you stamp on?’ He’d be sanctioned for that now. 

I have never forgotten one of his famous dictums - ‘if God had wanted us to play rugby as a kicking game, he would have made the ball round and called it soccer’. 

He really would ban all kicking unless it was last ditch defence and believe me you didn’t want to upset that guy. 

I thought of him in the middle of the boring kickfest that Saturday’s match became. I suspect precious few people really understood what was going on when the kick chase tactics descended into just kick tennis. It was boringly predictable and quite frankly disappointing that Scotland played along, but that is the law of the game and when both teams play the same perfectly legal tactics then you get what happened at Murrayfield – a crowd muttering that they had paid good money to watch utter drabness.

That is why World Rugby has to look at the laws and change them to prevent such a situation from happening again.  

All this when Scotland is acknowledged as one of the best teams in the world at attacking from anywhere on the pitch, as Kyle Rowe showed with that terrific late run that so nearly bought us a score.

In the likes of Rowe, Duhan van der Merwe and now Harry Paterson we have players who are capable of attacking from deep and bringing the rest of the team into a position where they can go forward, but we saw precious little of that on Saturday. 

READ MORE: Scotland seek admission of officiating error from World Rugby

Yes, the French defence was immense but Scotland’s terrific early team try showed it was not impermeable so why did we not see more of that sort of play from the men in dark blue? I really would rather lose a game playing an expansive running rugby than go down by a single score playing safety first stuff that got us nowhere in the end.

There’s been a lot of criticism about Scotland not taking the penalty points on offer just before half-time, but what could Finn Russell and Rory Darge do? It was a chance to hammer the French scrum and take advantage of the extra man, and I would have done exactly the same as that was the adventurous thing to do. And as the pundits pointed out, the psychological effect of a try so late in the half would have been immense. 

Instead, it was France who survived and came out for the second half with their tails up. Hindsight being 20:20 vision and all that, yes we should probably have taken the points but in the end, the result would have been the same.

We lost a game we should have won and now we cannot win the Grand Slam – indeed only England and Ireland can do so. But we do have points on the board and if we beat England and Italy with bonus points then we could be going to Dublin for the last match of the tournament with a very slim chance of accomplishing a miracle. Realistically, however, every other country is playing for second position behind Ireland who are showing no drop in form and will win back-to-back Grand Slams.  

One thing I did notice at Murrayfield was the absence of chief executive Mark Dodson from the normal high profile he assumes on these occasions. Has someone had a word with the soon-to-depart Dodson? I hope so.