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An improvement after the break saw them shut out their opponents for nearly a quarter of an hour but the French came again with replacement Jessy Tremoulière rounding off the scoring with her side's 11th try to complete a 69-0 win.
It leaves unbeaten France two points clear at the top, a sharp contrast to winless Scotland, who play Wales in their final game this Sunday.
But while accepting her side had been second best, Maxton believes Scotland need to have confidence in their own ability.
"I am disappointed with the way that we started the match," she said. "We knew the French were going to be physical and we had to match that, but too often in the first half they bullied us off the ball.
"We will look and see how we can work on things before next week's match in Wales, but we cannot keep starting matches slowly.
"The players perhaps have to have a bit more belief in themselves and their abilities because in the second half when they mixed it with the French they showed what they can do."