France player ratings: Antoine Dupont and Gael Fickou impress in narrow Six Nations win over Italy

David Skippers
Antoine Dupont France v Italy SN 2023 - PA.jpg

After their 29-24 Six Nations victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, here’s how the France team performed on Sunday.

15 Thomas Ramos: Was his usual dependable self at the back for Les Bleus and solid off the kicking tee although he was off target with one of his penalty attempts. 6/10

14 Damian Penaud: Was put in the clear by Ramos but dropped the ball close to Italy’s try-line during the early stages of the match. Despite that setback, Penaud tested Italy’s defence with some fine runs but couldn’t cross the whitewash. 6

13 Gael Fickou: Although the home side put France‘s backs under pressure with several attacks, they were kept in check for most of the game with Fickou amongst his team’s best defenders with 15 tackles made. Also made his mark on attack with 66 metres gained. 8

12 Yoram Moefana: Looked dangerous with ball in hand during the early stages of this Test but was less effective as the match progressed. Although he finished with 47 attacking metres, he did not make the same impact when defending and only completed three hits during a full 80 minutes. 6

11 Ethan Dumortier: It was a memorable day for the Lyon flyer as he crossed for a well-taken try in the first half but he had few attacking opportunities after that and wasn’t very visible on defence. 6

10 Romain Ntamack: Was prominent on attack during the first half and did brilliantly with inch perfect cross-field kicks which resulted in tries for Ramos and Dumortier but, like the rest of the Les Bleus squad, was less influential after the break. Was eventually replaced by Matthieu Jalibert after 65 minutes. 7

9 Antoine Dupont: Another fine display from the French captain who was named as the official man of the match. Did what was expected of him in providing a slick service to his outside backs and made some fine line breaks, finishing with 52 metres made. Also impressed with his leadership as he did not panic when Italy came back strongly in the second half and also shone on defence with 12 hits. 8

Solid effort under pressure from the pack

8 Gregory Alldritt: Another strong performance from the La Rochelle stalwart, although he will be kicking himself for not preventing Ange Capuozzo from scoring his try. Despite that, Alldritt was influential on attack, gaining 72 metres and completed 14 tackles. Replaced after 62 minutes. 7

7 Charles Ollivon: The Toulon man was yellow carded for a professional foul close to his try-line, which resulted in Italy receiving a penalty try, but apart from that infringement, he put in a solid effort. Was a willing ball carrier and also did his bit on defence. 7

6 Anthony Jelonch: Combined well with Alldritt and Ollivon, especially during the first half when France held the upper hand. Had little impact on attack but put his body on the line on defence and finished with a match-high 20 tackles while also winning one turnover. 7

5 Paul Willemse: Made his return to international action but did not really catch the eye during his 54-minute stint on the field. Seldom got over the advantage line as a ball carrier but had a strong defensive game with 12 tackles made. 6

4 Thibaud Flament: The Toulouse second-row delivered a busy shift and was rewarded when he crossed for the opening try after charging down a Stephen Varney kick. Continued to impress as the match progressed, especially on defence where he finished with 17 hits. 7

3 Uini Antonio: Was put under pressure in the scrums, but stood up well to the task. Also did well with some strong carries and put his body on the line in defence. Replaced early in the second half. 6

2 Julien Marchand: Did well in the execution of his core duties and was a prominent ball carrier, finishing with 33 metres gained but also shone on defence with 13 hits. 7

1 Cyril Baille: Another solid shift at the coalface of his side’s forward effort. Was solid in the scrums but made his biggest impact as a ball carrier, with 33 metres made from 11 carries. Also did his it on defence with eight tackles and, like Antonio, replaced on 52 minutes. 7

Replacements: Apart from Jalibert, who caught the eye with some fine play on attack and who scored what proved to be the match-winning try, the rest of France’s bench did not have a big impact on this fixture. 6

READ MORE: Six Nations: Five takeaways from Italy v France as Ange Capuozzo and Azzurri go agonisingly close against holders