Brunel: Italy were dominated

Date published: March 15 2015

Jacques Brunel admits Italy paid the price for not taking advantage their early possession in their heavy defeat at home to France.

The Azzurri looked set to build on their win over Scotland in the early stages as they monopolised the ball in the opening quarter, but Tommaso Allan – a late replacement for Kelly Haimona – and Luciano Orquera, who came on for Allan, both missed penalty attempts early on.

Italy never had another chance to score, and ended up losing 29-0 as Yoann Maestri and Mathieu Bastareaud crossed for France.

And Brunel, who will now have to turn his attention to a home clash with Wales next week, felt his side were outplayed in all sectors after that start.

"We were dominated up front. For 20 minutes we had the possession and the chance to score six points, but after that France dominated. We struggled in the scrum, the lineout, and when France scored some points, they gained in confidence," he said.

"We expected a difficult game, we hope to start the game well and establish a lead. Afterwards we struggled to be efficient and gave away too much ball. I’d like to say something else but I can’t.

"Changing fly-half at the start, and then Morisi, didn’t help, but that’s not where we lost the game. When we played well we didn’t score points which was the key. They dominated us individually and collectively, we were never able to make the right moves. The rain? It wasn’t an issue, the French defence was."