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Player ratings: France

OPINION: In a nail-biting encounter that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle, France and Italy battled to a 13-all draw in the third round of the Six Nations under the roof in Lille.

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Despite moments of brilliance and desperation alike, neither side could clinch the decisive blow in a match that promised little but delivered a lot.

Ian Cameron rates the French players!

1. Cyril Baille – 6
Baille’s effort was notable for his solid scrummaging and commitment in the loose. He provided a strong foundation for France, even if the sparkle was somewhat missing from his usually excellent ball-carrying.

2. Peato Mauvaka – 5
Mauvaka was reliable at lineout time and industrious around the park. While his work rate was commendable, he continues to cough up handling errors.

3. Uini Atonio – 6
Atonio anchored the scrum with formidable strength, providing a stable platform for France’s attacking game. His impact in tight exchanges and ball-carrying added valuable metres, but his scrummaging dominance fell away sharply as the game wore on.

4. Cameron Woki – 6
Woki’s athleticism shone through on occasion, with several key lineout takes and dynamic contributions in open play. That said, was one of several below-par performances in a pack that struggled to hit the high notes.

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5. Posolo Tuilagi – 7
Tuilagi showed flashes of the power that he’s known, his hunger for the ball in attack standing out. His destructiveness at the ruck is staggering – man-handling Italian forwards at times – and he showed surprisingly soft hands that belie his 149kg frame. Not the most industrious in covering metres in defence – which is hardly surprising given his size.

6. Paul Boudehent – 7
Boudehent was tireless, showing great energy throughout the game. His defensive work rate was commendable, although he lacked a bit in terms of offensive impact.

7. Charles Ollivon – 6.5
The Toulon man led by example – taking France’s first try well.  Despite his valiant attempts to inspire and carry momentum, France’s backs continuously failed to capitalize on the platform set by the forwards, resulting in a disjointed French performance.

8. Francois Cros – 6
Cros was everywhere in the first half, a true nuisance for the Italian side with his defensive prowess and breakdown work. He was one of the more consistent French players, even if he was playing out of position at No.8.

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9. Maxime Lucu – 5
Maxime Lucu struggled to impose any control over the game, with slow service and a few tactical misjudgments that hindered France’s attacking flow. Nolann Le Garrec was a notable improvement.

10. Matthieu Jalibert – 4
Jalibert was notably below par again, marked by hesitant decision-making and inaccurate kicking. An unfortunate ankle injury cut short his game, preventing any chances for redemption in the second half.

11. Matthis Lebel – 6
Lebel had moments where his speed and agility threatened, but those instances were too few. His work off the ball was better than on it, indicating room for growth.

12. Jonathan Danty – 4
Before the red card, it was a better display from Danty after some awful performances of late. He was relatively solid in the midfield, offering physicality in defence and some effective runs. His combination with Fickou didn’t quite fire on all cylinders. A careless tackle on Juan Ignacio Brex ended his game before halftime after it was upgraded  by the bunker

13. Gael Fickou – 5
Fickou tried to jump-start France’s attack – with several line breaks – but couldn’t find France’s three-quarter line with a microscope. He was one of the more effective backs, even in a game where France’s backline didn’t fully ignite.

14. Damian Penaud – 5
Penaud’s work rate and desire to attack space were commendable in an otherwise somewhat flat performance. He looked dangerous at times, even if there were also a few uncharacteristic errors from the Bordeaux man, not least shanking a chip straight into touch on 31 minutes.

15. Thomas Ramos – 6
Ramos was reliable at the back, dealing well with Italy’s kicking game and contributing with his boot in return. Was less involved.

REPLACEMENTS

16. Julien Marchand – 5
Coming off the bench, Marchand added energy and solidity to the French front row but was guilty of sloppy ball protection, notably being stripped of the pill when France was desperately trying to gather momentum.

17. Sebastien Taofifenua – 4
Taofifenua offered fresh legs but Taofifenua faced a challenging day at the office at the setpiece, his scrummaging falling short of expectations.

18. Dorian Aldegheri – 4
Like Taofifenua, Aldegheri struggled to keep the scrum steady but didn’t make a significant impact around the park.

19. Romain Taofifenua – 6
His physicality was welcome in the second row, providing a boost in the engine room but without standout moments.

20. Alexandre Roumat – 5
Roumat delivered a middling performance, showing flashes of potential but ultimately failing to leave a significant mark on the game.

21. Esteban Abadie – NA
Limited game time didn’t allow Abadie to showcase his abilities or influence the game significantly.

22. Nolann Le Garrec – 7
Le Garrec injected some pace and tried to spark the attack, even if he was working with a 14-man France team very much under the pump.

23. Yoram Moefana – 5
Moefana brought enthusiasm and a few neat touches after coming on for Jailbert, but he didn’t have the answer to France’s flatlining backs division.

@RugbyPass

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