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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009
2009 Six Nations
7 Feb-21 March

BBC coverage | 606 | Official site




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Highlights - Italy 8-50 France

Italy (3) 8
Tries: Parisse Pen: Marcato

France (25) 50
Tries: Chabal, Trinh-Duc, Medard 2, Heymans, Domingo, Malzieu Cons: Parra 3 Pens: Parra 3

By James Standley

France bounced back from humiliation against England with a seven-try win over Italy as the Azzurri claimed their seventh Wooden Spoon in 10 years.

France led 6-3 midway through the first half but tries from Sebastien Chabal, Francois Trinh-Duc and Maxime Meydard gave them a decisive lead in Rome.

Cedric Heymans and Thomas Domingo added further tries after the break.

Sergio Parisse scored Italy's first try in over five hours of action but Medard and Julien Malzieu completed the rout.

Frederic Michalak, who came on as a replacement for his first cap since 2007, missed the final three conversion attempts, any of which would seen France surpass their record Six Nations win over Italy - 56-13 in Rome in 2005.

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After their demolition by old rivals England last weekend, France were determined to return to winning ways.

Italy have never beaten their continental neighbours in the Six Nations, making them the perfect opponents for the bruised men in blue, and the French started with intent at the Stadio Flaminio.

Italy secured plenty of possession in the opening stages but, as they have all tournament, their backs struggled to create much of note.

France looked much more fluid with ball in hand and despite playing against a strong breeze they took an early 6-0 lead through two penalties from scrum-half Morgan Parra.

Italy full-back Andrea Marcato missed his first chance to trim the gap but, after the hosts' kicking game had pinned France back in their own half, he landed a second penalty attempt to make it 6-3 after 22 minutes.

France backs coach Emile Ntamack predicts bright future for Les Bleus

However, Jauzion immediately claimed a towering kick ahead of Italy scrum-half Paul Griffen and when the ball was fed to Chabal on the 22, he battered his way through an attempted tackle from Griffen to claim a typically bullocking score and set France on their way.

The pallid French side of seven days ago was rejuvenated and they soon added a spectacular brace of tries.

Trinh-Duc claimed the first, dummying his way past Mauro Bergamasco on halfway and stepping inside Griffen before out-pacing the cover to the line.

The hapless Griffen then failed to claim a kick ahead and Thierry Dusautoir powered 30m before feeding Medard to canter over untouched.

Parra added two conversions and France's 25-3 half-time lead was extended within two minutes of the restart.

In a desperate attempt to regain some pride Italy tried to attack from inside their own 22 but when flanker Mauro Bergamasco attempted a grubber kick, the ball fell to Heymans and the wing romped over for a simple try.

Italy coach Nick Mallett furious with Azzurri display

Parra converted and added a penalty to give France a 35-3 lead and they added a fifth try when Domingo stretched over from close range.

Their chances of victory had long since gone but Italy attacked with passion and were rewarded when captain Parisse, who played superbly in a losing cause, went over.

But France always looked by far the more dangerous side and they rounded things off with further tries in the last 10 minuets from Medard and Malzieu.

It was Les Bleus' first away win since coach Marc Lievremont's first game in charge, the opening game of their 2008 Six Nations campaign at Murrayfield.


France coach Marc Lievremont:

"The important thing was to finish the Six Nations tournament with a win and we achieved that.

"It's a deserved victory with a good first half and a second period that was a little harder going.

"Of course this doesn't completely make up for the blow we received at Twickenham six days ago but at the same time it was reassuring to finish on this note."

Italy boss Nick Mallett:

"I'll be meeting with the (Italian rugby federation) president (Giancarlo Dondi) this week to have a long talk with him but it's quite clear that we need to improve the standard of play to actually compete at the Six Nations.

"We are going on tour to Tri-Nations countries, to Australia and New Zealand, and that's going to be very difficult for Italy.

"I'm quite prepared to take the blame for my team, it's my responsibility but it would be naive to think that by criticising the head coach and by criticising the players you are going to make things better.

"I think we need to look at much much deeper issues in Italian rugby that need to change for us to be really competitive instead of one-off competitive."


Italy: Marcato; Rubini, Canale, Mi Bergamasco, Pratichetti; McLean, Griffen; Parisse, Ma Bergamasco, Zanni, Bortolami, Dellape, Nieto, Ghiraldini, Perugini.

Replacements: Quartaroli for Pratichetti (48), Orquera for McLean (72), Canavosio for Griffen (66), Sole for Bortolami (68), Del Fava for Dellape (54), Castrogiovanni for Nieto (58).

Not Used: Sbaraglini.

France: Traille; Medard, Fritz, Jauzion, Heymans; Trinh-Duc, Parra; Harinordoquy, Bonnaire, Dusautoir, Chabal, Nallet, Marconnet, Szarzewski, Barcella.

Replacements: Bastareaud for Fritz (60), Malzieu for Heymans (71), Michalak for Parra (52), Picamoles for Harinordoquy (63), Thion for Nallet (71), Domingo for Marconnet (50), Servat for Szarzewski (52).

Att: 27,650

Ref: A Rolland (Ireland).

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see also
Six Nations final day as it happened
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Italy v France match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Italy 15-20 Wales
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
England 34-10 France
15 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union


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