the XV of France wins without convincing against Italy
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By beating Italy on Sunday in Rome (29-24) on the first day of the Six Nations Tournament, the French rugby team increased the number of its victories in a row to 14, stretching an unprecedented series in the history of the XV tricolor.
The French rugby team painfully imposed itself, Sunday February 5 in Rome, against Italy 29-24 for its entry into the running in the Six Nations Tournament, of which it is the defending champion.
The Blues, very undisciplined, suffered but still won the offensive bonus point, a makeshift before the perilous trip that awaits them in Dublin next weekend against Ireland.
“There is nothing to jump around after this victory. We were too undisciplined, we must turn to more than twenty penalties [18 plus précisément, NDLR], we know that at this level it is not playable and that we will have to quickly rectify the situation”, immediately reacted Antoine Dupont, scrum half of the XV of France. “We will try to be positive but obviously that today there are many more negatives than positives. And when you see the score and the script, it could have been worse.”
Far too punished
This lackluster success nevertheless allowed Fabien Galthié’s men to chain a fourteenth victory in a row, stretching an unprecedented series in the history of French rugby, and a thirteenth victory in a row against Italy.
Feverishness, hand faults, offside … The French were punished too much, the referee of the meeting even rewarding Italy with a penalty try following yet another ground fault by the Blues.
Italy, in the wake of a year 2022 marked by two great victories, against Cardiff in the Tournament last spring (22-21) and over Australia (28-27) in the fall, has not not undeserved, scoring a try by the back Ange Capuozzo and recovering the defensive bonus point.
From the first period, concern was on the French side.
If the Blues managed to flatten three times, opening their counter by Thibaud Flament on interception from the 5th minute, the Italians, taking advantage of French indiscipline (nine penalties conceded against only two on the transalpine side), stuck to the score thanks to the foot from Tommaso Allan and a try from the inevitable Capuozzo.
Not everything is to be thrown away on the French side either, with in particular a powerful and precise footwork from Romain Ntamack, at the origin of the second and third tries, concretized respectively by the back Thomas Ramos and the Lyon winger Ethan Dumortier , who thus signs his first try for his first selection (6-19, 26th).
In just over 25 minutes, the French have already scored three tries.
Capuozzo, him again
But they nevertheless continued to be penalized and on a new fault of the Blues, Allan chooses this time the penaltouch.
He took it well since it was at this time that Capuozzo, following a carried ball, took the closed side to flatten in a corner (11-19, 32nd) his sixth international try in eight selections.
While the siren has already whistled, the French are penalized again (14-19), and Dupont is summoned by Mr. Carley: “It’s the last”, warns the referee before the two teams return to the locker room .
From the start of the second period, on a penalty touch in the French five meters, while the Italians stormed the line, Charles Ollivon made a mistake and logically received a yellow card, accompanied by a penalty try , as promised by the referee: and here is Italy at one point (21-22, 51st).
While France is in numerical inferiority, and after a penalty missed by Ramos, Italy passes for the first time in score following yet another penalty, thanks to the foot of the metronome Tommaso Allan (24-22 at the 62nd).
While concern begins to close the faces on the French bench, Matthieu Jalibert, barely entering the meadow to replace Ntamack, manages to flatten in force, giving a definitive advantage to the French (24-29, 69th).