France (22) 46 Tries: Harinordoquy, Marty 2, Andreu, Jauzion, Lapandry Cons: Parra 5 Pens: Parra 2 Italy (3) 20 Tries: Del Fava, Canavosio Cons: Mi Bergamasco 2 Pens: Mi Bergamasco 2
Highlights - France 46-20 Italy
By James Standley
France kept their Grand Slam hopes on course in emphatic fashion as they demolished Italy in the Six Nations.
An Imanol Harinordoquy try and a brace from David Marty helped Les Bleus into a 22-3 half-time lead at the Stade de France on Sunday.
After the break Marc Andreu, Yannick Jauzion and Alexandre Lapandry added further tries, with Morgan Parra kicking 14 points in all.
Carlo del Fava and Pablo Cannavossio grabbed consolation tries for Italy.
But despite that late flurry from the Azzurri, France were dominant in Paris and all that now stands between them and a ninth Grand Slam are floundering England, who travel across the Channel for the final game of the Championship on Saturday night.
France have been a class apart from the rest of the Six Nations teams in 2010 and they were on a different plane from their Continental neighbours from the opening whistle.
Playing with a fluidity that evoked memories of great French teams of the past, they exposed the limitations of Italy in a way that was beyond the rest of the teams in the championship.
Scrum-half Parra is a petit general in the best traditions of bossy French number nines and he sparked the first try with a sniping break around the base of a ruck in centre field before drawing the last defender and feeding the galloping Harinordoquy to cross under the posts.
Parra converted and soon added a penalty before Marty got in on the act with a quick double as Italy struggled to deal with the loss of centre Gonzalo Garcia, who was yellow carded for obstructing Andreu as the French winger chased his own chip ahead.
Within two minutes Francois Trinh-Duc fired the ball wide and Marty powered through the hole vacated by Garcia, before the centre crossed in the corner to finish off a counter-attack sparked by elegant Toulouse full-back Clement Poitrenaud and continued by the rampaging Harinordoquy, who had a superb game.
Parra's conversion of the first meant that with nearly an hour still to play France led 22-0 and thoughts may already have been turning to their final match.
Jauzion finishes exquisite France try
Italy hauled off scrum-half Tito Tebaldi after half an hour and they finally managed to get on the board through a Mirco Bergamasco penalty, but it was little consolation for the Azzurri, who had been left feeling more than a little green by a fine opening 40 minutes from France.
The second half brought more of the same as the hosts turned on the style for a delighted crowd in Paris.
Bergamasco and Parra added a penalty apiece but the French were more interested in tries and they added their fourth when the diminutive Andreu, all 5ft 5in of him, was sprung through the middle for a fine score.
The Castres flyer then fed Jauzion from a similar move and the stately Toulouse centre set sail for another cracking score.
Mallett hammers Italy performance
Lapandry finished off yet another flowing move after 65 minutes and with Parra converting all three scores the hosts led 46-6 entering the closing stages.
Italy were in danger of being completely obliterated, which would have been harsh give their battling displays earlier in the championship, and they roused themselves to reclaim a degree of respectability.
Del Fava strode over for their first try before Canavosio grabbed a second consolation but, although Bergamasco converted both to give the scoreline a more flattering look, France had long since turned their attention to England and a potential Grand Slam.
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