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Monday Mar 16, 2015

France ease to comfortable victory over Italy at wet Stadio Olimpico

France ease to comfortable victory over Italy at wet Stadio Olimpico

Just a week earlier Italy were celebrating at Murrayfield, but their Rome homecoming didn’t offer much to be delighted about, as a scrappy match went one way, with visitors France bouncing back to ease to a comfortable 29-0 victory.

France avoided being on the losing side three times in succession following back to back defeats to Ireland and Wales. This result never looked in doubt, despite a poor first half that thanks in part to the wet conditions, included multiple handling errors (reportedly 37 in total) from both sides.

When France did finally turn it on, they did so in style, with fullback Scott Spedding sparking a lovely counter attack that ended with big Yoann Maestri trotting over in the corner.

Mathieu Bastareaud powered over on full time, and the pressure on coach Philippe Saint-Andre was eased somewhat, with his side still in with a mathematical chance of snatching the title.

“In the first half we were able to wear them out physically and we were at their throats in defence,” Saint-Andre said after the game. “It wasn’t a perfect match but we’ll take all the positives from it and today we had a real French team.”

The weather hampered the occasion, but Italy coach Jacques Brunel didn’t use that as an excuse.

“The rain wasn’t our problem, the French defence was, especially in terms of winning the ball and shaping our game. That’s where we had problems, not with the weather,” he said.

France are now on four points with a match to play away to England next weekend. Italy, on two points, host Wales earlier in the day. England, Ireland and Wales all have six points, and along with France, will be hoping for a perfect performance and a bit of luck come the final day. 

Wales vs Ireland Highlights
England vs Scotland Highlights


  • mise
    10:39 PM 16/03/2015

    u were lucky FelipeG. It was awful. I remember seeing 19 handling errors for one team, 17 for the other popping up on the screen at one stage....that doesn't include really crap kicks obviously (eg out on the fulls). Appalling match, sucked the life out of me as I endured it. Probably fell asleep straight afterwards... France could be so good, but aren't (allowed be).... Such a pity.

  • drg
    5:48 PM 16/03/2015

    I think Haimona is a very good 10 for Italy, I think his place kicking needs a lot of work, but his kicking out of hand is pretty good. I really like the guy, silky skills like back, but built like an 8... I think if he was put in the centres he'd become another Bastareaud or Tuilagi, and simply used to 'smash it up' - which is getting to be a big waste of everyone's time...

  • drg
    5:45 PM 16/03/2015

    To be fair to France they did play some good rugby in many areas, just unfortunately it was very segmented. Frances scrum was very good, Frances lineout was very good and generally speaking, they produced a lot of good running rugby, but their handling was very schoolboy rugbyesque on numerous occasions. I personally think this is a game France can take a lot away from and build upon, Italy however cannot really use that game to base a foundation, as a lot of it all seemed to go terribly wrong.

  • felipeg
    2:45 PM 16/03/2015

    I couldn't watch the game but I ve read it was a poor one. They say, to sum up, that France was bad, just not as bad as Italy... Which 'd be sad for "continental rugby". I hope you re right then! Heavy score, particularly this 0. But a bit flattering it seems...

  • reality
    10:40 AM 16/03/2015

    Italy really, really need to get a better kicking coach, or better kickers. They're not a team that will score loads of tries, so they simply must capitalise on their kicking opportunities. It nearly cost them the match against Scotland, and it cost them any hope they had against what turned out to be a pretty decent French team. If Italy had gone 6-0 up at the beginning like they should have, it could have been a very different game. Kelly Tuscany Haimona is very poor at kicking (even if he didn't play yesterday), and is a centre rather than an outhalf, so they need to stick to Allan and whoever else there might be. It's the single biggest factor in Italy's losses, and should be made top priority by all the stakeholders. On another note, matches like these really show how important a factor the weather can be in matches. I think on a dry day that could have been an excellent match, and not the knock-on fest it turned out to be. Well done to France though. I don't know if they've turned a corner (I doubt it) but they were pretty impressive.


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France ease to comfortable victory over Italy at wet Stadio Olimpico | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos