Brunel ‘dreamt’ of Italy’s performance

Date published: February 9 2016

Italy boss Jacques Brunel was thrilled to see his young players have no fear in Paris as they surprised many with their performance.

In the end France clung on, having been tipped before the weekend to wipe the floor with an Italy side which looked short on experience.

Brunel will step down at the end of the tournament and admitted he wasn't sure how Italy would handle the occasion last Saturday.

"I had dreamt about it, or at least I hoped they could do it," Brunel said.

"We didn't know how the young guys would face up, if they were going to be scared, if they were going to be able to take initiatives.

"And they did, they weren't afraid at all. Some people had predicted a French victory by more than 30 points, it wasn't.

"We proved that nothing is ever set in stone."

Despite the defeat Brunel felt that Italy matched their pre-game objectives of being able to compete with France right until the final whistle.

"If you look at the score, of course I am disappointed to lose by such a small margin," Brunel added.

"It could have been a lot different, however our goal was to be the fiercest opponent we could be for France, to show who we were.

"We wanted to match France for intensity, for ability to compete. And even if we are disappointed, I think we met those objectives, and we can take some positives from this game."