Planet Rugby

France go two from two

09th February 2014 16:50

Share:

Louis Picamoles scoring for France

Opening try: Louis Picamoles

France made it back-to-back victories in the Six Nations Championship as a second-half stampede saw them ease past Italy 30-10 in Paris on Sunday.

A 9-3 half-time score summed up perfectly what was a dismal opening 40 minutes before the floodgates opened after the break for Les Bleus.

Tries came from Louis Picamoles, Wesley Fofana and Hugo Bonneval while Tommaso Iannone replied three minutes from time for the Azzurri.

A red card apiece for Rabah Slimani and Michele Rizzo for trading headbutts soured what was an otherwise clean contest of Six Nations rugby.

Action now takes a week's break before France go to Wales while Italy host Scotland in what already looks like being the Wooden Spoon decider.

On this second-half form, the French will fancy their chances against a Welsh side that had their confidence shattered against Ireland on Saturday.

It did take a while for France to click into gear though as that aforementioned summation of the first period suggests. Several missed penalty attempts from both sides meant the game was scoreless until the 27th minute when Jean-Marc Doussain finally found his range following a strong run from full-back Brice Dulin.

France weren't ahead for long however as visiting fly-half Tomasso Allan equalised off the tee a minute later as Dulin was penalised for not retreating behind the back foot of tackled player Alberto De Marchi before contesting at the ruck. Allan made no mistake to level.

Italy were on top at scrum time at this point but it was to be France's driving maul that did the damage next, with Italy falling into the trap of collapsing it, thus coughing up a further three.

Doussain was again on target just before the break when Joshua Furno was pinged by referee Jaco Peyper for not rolling away, meaning it was a six-point lead for the French.

Whatever coach Philippe Saint-Andre said at the break clearly worked as Les Bleus came out firing, with Picamoles barging over on 43 minutes after TMO confirmation because of possible obstruction by hooker Dimitri Szarzewski off a driving maul fifteen metres out.

And like London buses, the hosts' second arrived soon after when Fofana spotted space on the blindside of a ruck and quickly set off for the right-hand corner, seeing off Luke McLean en route to the try-line. Doussain was now striking the ball sweetly to make it 23-3.

On 52 minutes the result was put beyond doubt as France scored the pick of their three tries. It came from a lovely breakout from his own 22 by Fofana, who freed Yoann Huget on the left before the wing fed Bonneval for a debut try. Doussain's conversion made it 30-3.

The threat of a demolition was now looming in Paris but instead there was a lull before replacements Slimani and Rizzo saw red for respective headbutts, this only a minute after France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina had been yellow carded for throwing the ball away.

The last word would be Italy's though and credit to them for it as wing Iannone finished well, giving them hope ahead of the biggest game of their 2014 Championship on February 22.

Man of the match: Few would have scored the try that Wesley Fofana did. His ability to see space before others was evident when he spotted just that on the blindside of a ruck. Net result, he picked, went and raced over despite the best efforts of covering full-back McLean.

Moment of the match: When the French aren't playing well, they can always look to Louis Picamoles to get them going forward. His try to make it 16-3 with the conversion was key.

Villain(s) of the match: No place for headbutts in rugby. Michele Rizzo and Rabah Slimani.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries: Picamoles, Fofana, Bonneval
Con: Doussain 3
Pen: Doussain 3
Yellow: Vahaamahina (70 mins - kicking ball away)
Red: Slimani (71 mins - headbutt)

For Italy:
Try: Iannone
Con: Orquera
Pen: Allan
Red: Rizzo (71 mins - headbutt and punch)

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Hugo Bonneval, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri 4 Pascal Papé (c), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Gael Fickou.

Italy:15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements:16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Angelo Esposito.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
Friday , December 5
Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821