Twenty-second loss in row for Italy in the Six Nations
What could have been last Six Nations game for rugby great Sergio Parisse saw Italy lose in a bitter way versus France.
Conversely from the previous games, the hosts had plenty of ball (65%) and territory (71%), but they were unable to convert them into points. Three times the TMO had correctly disallowed Italy a 5-pointer, the final score 14-25 is a bitter pill to swallow for the Wild Boars.
France came to Rome with revenge in their eyes after another disappointing Six Nations despite another change of Head Coach, only one win, at home versus Scotland and three losses, one of them, at Twickenham, extremely humiliating for the proud Gauls.
Italy after another winless Six Nations and also being comprehensively beaten by Eddie Jones’ England, had to win to once again fend off the Georgian demons.
The game saw Italy push against the French defensive line in multiple occasions but with no luck in scoring and conceding points almost at every mistake committed.
Italy was the first on the scoreboard with two penalties from flyhallf Tommaso Allan, but the visitors were the first to pass the whitewash.
Antoine Dupont came from nowhere to score the 5 pointer after a great movement of man of the match Penaud. Ntamack converted the scrum half try to give the Gauls the lead at the 16th minute.
The son of the great Milou held his nerves at his run off debut at number 10 to kick another goal three minutes later to extend the lead to 10-6.
The score did not changed until the pause with the post’s padding denying Italy’s debutant Zanon the try and Steyn losing possession a couple of minutes later when he was almost over the try line.
Allan was again the first point scorer on the half. France conceded two early penalties and the fly half converted the second one in three points.
The gap was immediately widened again by France. Ntamack combined with Toulouse’s team mate Huget to score the visitors second try thanks to lousy defending efforts by the hosts.
Italy finally get the deserved try with Tebaldi finishing off a team effort that saw first Parisse then Esposito beat several opponents to create the right gap for the scrum half.
Allan wasn’t able to convert the try, his kick as a penalty did few minutes early, drifted aside the posts.
Italy trialling by 3 points and pushed by the home crowd was again dangerous, but young Ntamak put a drop goal through the posts at the 63rd minute to make it a converted try for the hosts.
A converted try that was twice close in the remaining minutes, first the TMO denied Tebaldi the brace then Zanon a maiden try. In both occasions the review was correct and the Italian players lost control of the oval.
The bitter end came with a minute to play, when Penaud scored the third French try after a drop kick.
Italy 14 (6):
Conv.: Allan 0/1
Pen: Allan 3/4
France 25 (10):
Tries: Dupont, Huget, Penaud
Conv.: Ntamack 2/3
Pen.: Ntamack 1/1