Sunday Feb 9, 2014

France ease past Italy with comfortable win at the Stade de France

France ease past Italy with comfortable win at the Stade de France
17
Comments

France scored three second half tries to ease past Italy with a comfortable 30-10 victory in Paris. Louis Picamoles, Wesley Fofana and Hugo Bonneval all scored within ten minutes as France showed a clinical side that they lacked in the first half.

Jean-Marc Doussain kicked France to a 9-3 lead at halftime as both sides looked fairly well matched, but in the second half France arrived, blitzing Italy with three tries in ten minutes.

Picamoles scored from a maul three minutes into the half, before Fofana sprinted down the wing for the second, then helped to set up Bonneval, who scored on debut. All three tries were converted.

Italy scored a late try through Tommaso Iannone, but the match ended on a fairly dull and sour note as two players were red carded for head butting as a scrum broke up.

Rabah Slimani and Michele Rizzo were both sent off by referee Jaco Peyper, who referred to both the TMO and touchjudge Craig Joubert for advice. Sebastien Vahaamahina was yellow carded for kicking the ball away shortly before that.

Official extended match highlights (8 minutes long) are now updated below

With players like Picamoles and Fofana making big impacts, do you think France are now serious contenders for the Championship, or is it still too early to say?

View the red cards incident (page two)

The Red Cards incident that saw two front rowers sent from the field. It’s only the third time ever in the history of the Five or Six Nations that two players have been red carded.

17 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    2 weeks ban for each. Sadly not just left at the reds which I agree should have been sufficient.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Once they went to the TMO, I don't think the refs had any choice but to show reds. But I do hope that the reds are regarded as sufficient punishment, and generally far preferable when the punishment is meted out during the game. Not a great weekend of 6N games overall, hope we can look forward to better.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Well, he did use the replay as evidence to show that it was the French player who headbutted first. The commentators might be biased but the video evidence isn't, and it demonstrated exactly what the commentators said. But if Rizzo was stupid enough to headbutt him back, then it's his fault too.

    Reply
  •  themull
    themull

    Apart from the two tries France really didn't impose themselves on the game at all.>italy were bashing away at the line or the lions share of teh second half and a more creative/clinical team would have beaten France comfortably..in saying that, they've got 2 wins from two and if they can manage to beat Wales away next round they'll be huge favourites to take home the slam..

    Reply
  •  marty
    marty

    I thought i've seen one or two punches thrown by Rizzo though... Anyways, France's got a good 10 on wich to build for the wolrd cup. I really like the way plisson defended, at one point in the game, he was the leader for tackles made. Plisson and Trinh-Duc is pretty good!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Actually, I agree with you there, those two uppercuts are probably the part that set the punishment ball rolling... You can imagine that the referees' felt they needed to punish the punches, but couldn't do so without first punishing the headbutts....and as we all know, use of the head = red...

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712

    That conversion was a beauty!

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712

    Had it just been heads, I don't think anything would have come of it, even though the last one from the French prop seem to have a decent bit of force (reminded me of a documentary of those big-horned sheep head-butting each other). What got everyone else involved was the two uppercuts from the Italian prop. By the look of the French props face, neither connected, but hard to argue that they were not really intended to hurt.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    To all: Definitely can't criticise Peyper et al for the red cards, same as technically speaking Owens could of justifiably given a red card last week.. The laws are there and the referee's can interpret them, however in the Owens instance, I'd say they were interpreted very well; backed up perhaps by the lack of a citing. This incident is 'worse' and I can see where Dan is coming from, but to me it didn't seem like they were actually trying to hurt each other. other than a 'we'll keep bashing heads to see whose is harder' way... Seemed more like a 'you shove me I'll shove you back' sort of niggle. I agree it was worse than the Huget/Brown incident, but I just think it could of perhaps been dealt with by at most 2 yellow cards - As it happens, they'd still be off for the rest of the match.. @Reality, I'll have to have another look. Like I said it seemed more likely that the French prop would start it, only because Italy were on the front foot. Very stupid from both of them though.

    Reply
  •  s_conner
    s_conner

    This match has drawn me towards two conclusions; France can win this tournament if they can work out how to put in a full 80 minute performance, and Italy should be favourites to beat Scotland next time out. I thought the Azzurri actually played well enough for the score to be closer, but lacked the star power and cutting edge to turn their territory into points. Garcia looked weak in the centre and Allen didn't play well, but the pack worked very hard (the prop was awesome), and the wingers looked alright. Orquera should start as he kicked an excellent conversion and ran hard at the line to get his runners going once he came on. One last point, Parisse isn't what he once was.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    DrG, I watched it with the Italian commentary and while obviouslybiased, the commentators did have a good point when they pointed out that it was actually the French player who gave the first little headbutt, then the Italian gave him back a harder one, and then the French one gave him back an even harder one. I think it was only the final replay that went back far enough to show it. It was the one from the side and kind of far away. But in any case, I'd say it was stupid from both players, regardless of who started it.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I thought the two examples did serve to demonstrate the problems that referees face. The Huget/Brown incident was nothing. Two heads which made contact, but no genuine malice, just a bit of a niggle. The Slimani/Rizzo incident was a case of two men trying to hurt each other, albeit none-too-successfully. In the first case the referee is widely applauded for letting it go. In the second incident I though both men deserved red cards, because using the head as a weapon is a red card offence. But the difference between the two was pretty minimal... Who would want to be a referee?!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    DrG: Thought the whole incident could have been dealt with in a Nigel Owens fashion: 'You're both acting very immature.'Exactly. Nothing in it. Just a couple of front-rowers getting acquainted with each other. Waste of TMO time. Fortunately it was late enough in the game to not have any impact on the match itself. Can't really criticise the officials, they're just implementing the laws of the game, but give me Owens's common-sense approach any day of the week.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Oh right. I don't remember, do you know the reasoning behind it... ...least it's not on Valetines day (otherwise I'd be in trouble!)

    Reply
  •  kk81
    kk81

    In 2011, Wales played England on a Friday night

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    One thing I loved about this game was the consistent red card call.. I was disappointed with the red cards, there was nothing in either of the contacts, but I was glad to see BOTH props got red cards and not just the one! Very disappointed by the Italian prop, I can only assume something happened to cause him to 'headbutt' in the first place, they were in a perfect position to score and they cocked it up... could have been a slightly better score for Italy.. Thought the whole incident could have been dealt with in a Nigel Owens fashion: 'You're both acting very immature.' Hope the incident is left at just the red cards.. Just noticed next week the Wales v France match is on a Friday night - Don't remember this before???

    Reply

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  • Fofana best centre in world rugby

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France ease past Italy with comfortable win at the Stade de France | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos