Whenever Italy play France, it is always a grudge match. Both teams always vary in style but put them together and it is usually a very messy encounter. However, both teams have been playing an expansive brand of rugby so the game did have a possiblilty to impress. It was evident that the game was going to be open all the way through with Italy striking first. Carlo Canna dummied to make a half break and offloaded to Sergio Parisse and the Italian talisman crossed the line. Canna’s kick missed but he did notch a penalty. Camille Lopez responded with two of his own however.
Gael Fickou then produced a moment of magic as he dummied superbly to send Leondardo Ghiraldini completley the wrong way and sprint in from the 22 metre line! The Toulouse winger had finished off courtesy of a great break from his fellow team mates which gave him the field position to execute the try.
Fickou then nearly returned the favour with a sensational step and break and was then able to find the pass to Virimi Vakatawa. The winger paced towards the line but Edoardo Padovani had different ideas. He some how caught up with the Fijian flyer and took his ankles out just short of the line! Great commitment from the Italian fly-half.
Vakatawa had just been denied but he did manage to get his own try when he ran a great line off of Baptiste Serrin pass and ran in from short range under the posts.
Despite the scorline, Italy would not lie down and they made their presence known through Georgio Bronzini. It was a well worked tr… but the referee, after further inspection, decided that Bronzini had been held up and all of Italy’s efforts were for nothing.
To make matters worse, Louis Picalmoles bustled over from short range and when the 18st monster is running at you from 5 metres out, it is simply impossible to stop him. The French battering ram was at it again!
France were looking to play from deep as they were thrashing the Azzuri. Noa Nakaitaci spun out of a few tackles and edged an offload to Kevin Gourdon. The flanker slipped through an average tackle while offloading to Brice Dulin who stepped past Angelo Esposito to cross the line.
This Six Nations has been another one to forget for the Italians but they did snatch back a bit of pride after they used the simple hands to get Esposito into some space and the winger made no mistake from close range.