Sat 6 Feb 2021 | 06:21

Les Bleus make BIG statement with seven-try rout

Les Bleus make BIG statement with seven-try rout
Sat 6 Feb 2021 | 06:21
Les Bleus make BIG statement with seven-try rout
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SIX NATIONS MATCH REPORT: France started their campaign with a seven-try 50-10 bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome on Saturday.

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Antoine Dupont touched down and had a role in four other tries as last year’s runners-up dominated a young Azzurri side.

Les Bleus provisionally take top spot in the tournament before the second match between champions England and Scotland at Twickenham later.

* Did you miss any of the action? To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

Dupont sparked France , as he touched down and had a role in four other tries – with Teddy Thomas dotting down twice – as last year’s runners-up dominated a young Azzurri side.

Les Bleus provisionally take top spot in the tournament before the second match between champions England and Scotland at Twickenham later.

Fabien Galthie’s side strolled in a sun-drenched Stadio Olimpico against the weakest team in the tournament who are without a win since 2015.

France, looking for their first title since 2010, play Ireland in Dublin next weekend with Italy heading to England.

“We scored seven tries. We were efficient. Obviously we have things to improve on,” said Galthie.

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“We’re in a good place. We need a good week to prepare because Sunday it’s Ireland in Dublin, it’s not the same atmosphere.”

Toulouse scrumhalf Dupont, the Six Nations player of the tournament last year, was outstanding, winning man of the match for his role.

The 24-year-old scored a try on 53 minutes after delivering assists, including a low kick at the exit of the maul which found Gael Fickou after 24 minutes.

Dupont went off after the hour with the match already wrapped up 45-3 after a fifth Matthieu Jalibert conversion.

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Bordeaux-Begles flyhalf Jalibert did well in the absence of Romain Ntamack, who is out with a fractured jaw, converting six tries, and an 11th-minute penalty.

Dylan Cretin and Arthur Vincent both scored their first tries for France.

Thomas burst through the Italian defence after six minutes with Lyon flanker Cretin going over for his first international try.

Dupont sent through for the onrushing Fickou to pick up the ball to score France’s second try after 27 minutes with Vincent getting the third three minute later.

France added four tries after the breakthrough Dulin (49), Dupont(53) and Thomas (56, 74).

Wing Monty Ioane crossed for Italy after 33 minutes but the try was ruled out because of Stephen Varney’s forward pass.

Italy nevertheless saved face a quarter of an hour from the end thanks to Luca Sperandio, which Paolo Garbisi converted, the flyhalf having also scored a 20th-minute penalty.

The Azzurri extended their Six Nations losing streak to 28 matches.

Man of the match: Stephen Varney showed promise and Montanna Ioane had a few good runs. However, Italy’s best player was flank Sebastian Negri – a real workhorse. The entire French team should be applaued. The names worth mentioning include centre Arthur Vincent, locks Paul Willemse and Bernard Le Roux, along with flank and captain Charles Ollivon – who made a match-high 17 tackles. Our award goes to scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, who was pulling the strings and taking the pressure off Matthieu Jalibert. His reading of the game, on attack and defence, was from the top shelve.

Moment of the match: Any of the French tries is worthy of this, but the most significant moments came just on the half-hour mark when Montanna Ioane thought he had scored for Italy. However, the TMO spotted a forward pass and it was declined. The Azzurri heads dropped and the game was effectively over as a contest.

Villain: Nobody

The scorers

For Italy
Try: Sperandio
Con: Garbisi
Pen: Garbisi

For France
Tries: Cretin, Fickou, Vincent, Dulin, Dupont, Thomas 2
Cons: Jalibert 6
Pen: Jalibert

Teams

Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Ignacio Brex, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi (captain), 1 Daniele Rimpelli.
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Niccolo Cannone, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Maxime Mbanda, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Carlo Canna

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Dorian Aldeghiri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Anthony Jeronch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Louis Carbonel, 23 Damian Penaud.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Karl Dickson (England)

PV: 64
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Les Bleus make BIG statement with seven-try rout | Rugby365