Six Nations - Stade de France, 14 March 2010, 15:30 local, 14:30 GMT
France (22) 46 - 20 (3) Italy (FT)

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Summary

Time Score  
 

Good afternoon, folks, I'm Mark Doyle and welcome to scrum.com's live coverage of today's Six Nations encounter between France and Italy in Paris.

France, of course, are on the verge of a Grand Slam and will be supremely confident of dispatching a side that they have lost to just once in 30 previous meetings, in Grenoble in 1997. Les Bleus' recent form also points towards a comfortable home win. They swept Scotland aside on the opening weekend with the minimum of fuss before completely overwhelming their principal Championship rivals Ireland at the Stade de France the following weekend. They were given a second-half fight in Cardiff a fortnight ago but the French did enough in the opening period to rack up a third successive win. A fourth now appears little more than a formality.

However, Italy should not be underestimated. They frustrated Ireland for longer periods, ran England close in Rome seven days later and then recorded a spirited victory over the Scots in round three. Tries remain desperately hard to come by the for the Azzurri but they did show a greater willingness to play an open, expansive game against the Scots last time out. And, of course, as ever, their formidable forwards will relish the opportunity to get one over on a French pack which has yet to be bested in this year's Championship.

So, while we're all expecting France to run riot, the Italians could easily make this interesting. How long for? We'll find out in just over an hour's time.....

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Just a recap on the team news ahead of kick-off. France have made two changes to the side which overcame Wales, with David Marty coming into midfield in place of Mathieu Bastareaud, who has been benched, and Marc Andreu getting the nod ahead of Julien Malzieu on the right wing. Italy boss Nick Mallett, meanwhile, has wholly unsurprisingly decided against making any changes to the side which beat the Scots. For a more in-depth look at today's game, check out our Match Preview.

14.27: We're ever so slightly behind schedule in Paris as the are only getting underway now. We'd complain but who'd listen?!

1

We're up and running in St Denis. Italy have never beaten France in the Six Nations - could this be the day?... Highly unlikely, as the French are already threatening a try!

2

After a stirring start, Francois Trinh-Duc drops into the pocked and attempts a drop goal. However, his effort drifts to the right of the posts. Italy survive.... for now!

3

Italy get their hands on the ball in French territory for the first time. They attempt to move it wide, with predictably catastrophic consequences, knocking it on, thus wasting a decent attacking position.

5 7 - 0

Try! Terrific stuff from the French. After a clean take at the lineout, the ball is worked infield. First, Palisson has a go before being wrapped up in midfield. However, from the resulting ruck Parra breaks through the Italian defence before finding Harinordoquy with a sumptuous off-load, leaving the No.8 witha simple finish under the posts. A great try and one which was easily converted by Parra.

6

Scrum.com's Huw Baines: "We might have just seen the two players of the tournament in tandem - Parra and Harinordoquy are just so impressive."

8

As if Italy don't have enough problems as it is, they've now been forced into a back-line reshuffle following the injury-enforced withdrawal of the lively Garcia. Robertson has come on in the centre's place.

10 10 - 0

The French really are up for this. Domingo provides them with some excellent go-forward ball which eventually forces Italy into the concession of a penalty. Parra nails the resulting kick with ease. For the Italians, this is an ominously energetic start by the French.

12

At last, some good news for the visitors: Garcia has made a Lazarus-like recovery and has re-entered the fray.

15

Hilarious stuff! Garcia is on his way back off, this time after picking up a yellow card for blatantly obstructing Andreu, who was attempting to get on the end of his own chip forward. That all originated from Bergamasco kicking the ball away cheaply whilst Italy were on the offensive, thus allowing Andreu to streak clear down the right wing.

16

France waste their first opportunity to make their numerical advantage pay, with the forwards pinged for accidental offside as they tried to maul their way over from close range.

17 15 - 0

Try! France make no mistake this time around! Parra feeds the ball to Trinh-Duc and his splendid skipped pass finds Marty, who streaks through the fractured Italian line unchallenged to score.

18 17 - 0

Parra nails the conversion and this already looks like game over! Nothing has gone right for the Italians in this opening quarter.

20

Scrum.com's Graham Jenkins: "Cricket score coming at the Stade de France as expected - no doubt England are watching and a little worried."

22

Italy are doing their best to hang in there, making as many big hits as they can, but the French are rampant at the moment. Andreu is proving particularly eye-catching wide on the right. The Castres winger is a real livewire with ball in hand.

25 22 - 0

Try! This is just utterly glorious stuff from the French. Marty is again the scorer but much of the credit for this latest try has to go to Poitrenaud, who opted against kicking to touch after collecting possession inside his own 22 and decided instead to scythe through the Italian defence before off-loading to Jauzion. He deftly popped the ball into the path of the onrushing Harinordoquy, who brushed off one challenge before charging forward and then putting Marty over in the corner. Yet another fantastic try from the champions elect.

28

The Italians now look completely shell-shocked - and who can blame them? When France play like this at home, as Ireland know only too well, they are pretty much unstoppable. Such an intoxicating mix of power and panache.

30

There may only be half an hour gone in Paris but Nick Mallett has decided that it's already time for change. Off goes scrum-half Tebaldi and on comes Canavosio in his place.

31

The Italians can't do anything right at the minute. After securing a lineout close to the French line on their own throw, they turn it over, the majestic Harinordoquy pilfering possession back for Les Bleus. A hammer blow for the Azzurri.

33

France threaten again through the classy Poitrenaud but Masi is on hand to snuff out the danger after the Toulouse fullback and kicked ahead into the corner.

35 22 - 3

Some long overdue encouragement for the Italians. Their formidable front row gets a good shove on in the scrum and the pressure eventually leads to a penalty ten metres inside French territory which is impressively converted by Bergamasco.

38

It's gone a little flat in Paris at the minute, which is hardly surprising. The French have dropped off a tad after a whirlwind start but we can forgive them that, such was the quality of their rugby in the opening half hour.

40

After a French attack comes to nothing, McLean boots the ball into touch and a half which the home side have totally dominated comes to a close. Marc Lievremont's men, with three superb tries, have underlined just why they been the team of the Championship thus far. Italy have hardly helped themselves, though, turning the ball over every time some advantageous field position has come their way. If the Azzurri don't tighten things up in the second half they are likely to be routed this afternoon.

40

McLean with the restart and we're back up and running in Saint Denis.

41 25 - 3

The French waste little time in extending their advantage. The increasingly desperate Italians are caught offside and Parra nails the resulting 40-metre penalty with something to spare.

44 25 - 6

The French are caught offside shortly after the restart, thus presenting Bergamasco with an immediate chance to strike back for the visitors. It's a chance that he takes, the winger dissecting the uprights from all of 35 metres.

46

Poitrenaud attacks with real menace again, taking the Italian defence again almost singlehandedly. His break ultimately comes to nothing but he really is having a fine game today.

47

Italy produce their most penetrative attack of the game. Zanni marauds forward into French territory before off-loading superbly well in the tackle to Canavosio. The replacement scrum-half lobs the ball on ahead of him but France have enough men back to deal with the danger. Still, promising play from the visitors.

51 32 - 6

What a killer blow for the Italians. After a relatively positive spell of the game, they concede yet another try. Trinh-Duc passes inside to Andreu, who, with the aid of a terrific line and some terrific decoy runs both inside and outside of him, blazes through a gaping hole to score. He deserved that score, too.

53

The Italians look a pretty beleaguered bunch now. And the fact that McLean seems intent on kicking the ball straight to the French is hardly helping their demeanour.

55

Italy try to spread it once more. Garcia, who has threatened with his incisive running, finds some space before finding his midfield partner Canale. However, the ball is swatted out of the latter's hands and the French have the ball back.

56 37 - 6

More sublime play from the French. The electric Andreu rips through the heart of the Italian defence before finding Jauzion with a terrific off-load in the tackle. Jauzion might be getting on a bit now but he still has a fair bit of gas left in the tank and he skips away from one tackler before shrugging off another to reach out and place the ball over the whitewash. That's Jauzion's 20th try in Test rugby.

57 39 - 6

Parra adds the extras.

58

With the game now well and truly won, Marc Lievremont has unsurprisingly decided to empty his bench. Lapandry replaces Dusautoir while Yachvili comes on in place of Trinh-Duc, meaning Parra will go to fly-half. Is there no end to this man's talents?

62

France blow an excellent opportunity to rack up another try. Again Poitrenaud provides the inspiration, taking a quick tap in midfield before racing forward, deep into Italian territory. The ball is worked wide but Chabal's pass to Andreu is a shocker and the ball bounces into touch.

65 46 - 6

It's getting embarrassing for the Italians now. Parra sparks a move which sees the elusive Malzieu blaze a trail up the middle of the pitch before leaving another replacement in the form of Lapandry with an easy run-in.

68 46 - 11

Terrific response from the Italians! Just when they appeared ready to jack it in, they conjure up a wonderful try. After some lovely hands at close quarters down the right flank, Derbyshire breaks clear before passing inside to del Fava, who bounds over. That try was warmly greeted by the partisan French crowd.

69 46 - 13

Bergamasco converts to put an ever so slightly more respectable look on the scoreline.

72 46 - 18

Remarkable stuff! The French have completely switched off, allowing Italy a second try! This time it's Canavosio, who follows up his game-winning effort against the Scots with a terrific solo try, the scrum-half exploding off the back of a scrum before breezing past two tackles and then rounding Palisson.

73 46 - 20

Bergamasco is on hand once more to convert another easy kick from in front of the posts.

74

The French win a penalty just inside the Italian half. Interestingly, rather than go for goal, they opt to kick to touch. They've clearly been irked by the Azzurri revival and now want another try to put them back in their place.

76

The French are trying to power their way over the line but the Italians are holding firm at the moment. First, a rolling maul is grounded just short and then Bastareaud bulldozes his way to within a metre. Italy are refusing to budge but Les Bleus have another lineout on their own throw to come.....

77

The French turn the ball over and Italy clear. Excellent resistance from the visitors. They lack a number of things but they do not lack heart.

79

The French are still probing for one more try to cap what has been a fine win, working the ball from right to left and left to right in the hope of finding a gap. Nothing doing thus far, though.

80

The full-time whistle blows and France have made it four wins from four in this year's Championship. They looked vulnerable and disjointed in the closing stages but mass substitutions played their part in that regard and a sloppy final quarter cannot take away from what was, for so long, a scintillating display. Indeed, it is impossible to see them failing to clinch the Grand Slam against an England side that, on the evidence of today, lacks even more invention and creativity than Italy! The Azzurri were outclassed but they never gave up and were rewarded for their honest endeavour and willingness to take some risks with two fine tries. In the end, a predictable outcome in Paris but a thoroughly enjoyable game nonetheless.

Timeline

Time France  Score  Italy
0 start of first half start of first half
5 Harinordoquy - try
Parra - conversion
7 - 0
7 Robertson - sub on
Garcia - sub off
10 Parra - penalty goal 10 - 0
12 Garcia - sub on
Robertson - sub off
15 Garcia - yellow card
17 Marty - try 15 - 0
18 Parra - conversion 17 - 0
25 Marty - try 22 - 0
30 Canavosio - sub on
Tebaldi - sub off
35 22 - 3 M Bergamasco - penalty goal
40 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half
Servat - sub off
Szarzewski - sub on
Mas - sub off
Poux - sub on
start of second half
41 Parra - penalty goal 25 - 3
44 25 - 6 M Bergamasco - penalty goal
48 Chabal - sub on
Nallet - sub off
51 Andreu - try
Parra - conversion
32 - 6
55 Bortolami - sub off
del Fava - sub on
56 Jauzion - try 37 - 6
57 Parra - conversion 39 - 6
58 Trinh-Duc - sub off
Yachvili - sub on
Dusautoir - sub off
Lapandry - sub on
61 Garcia - sub off
Robertson - sub on
63 Derbyshire - sub on
Sole - sub off
64 Poitrenaud - sub off
Malzieu - sub on
65 Lapandry - try
Parra - conversion
46 - 6
66 Castrogiovanni - sub off
Aguero - sub on
Ongaro - sub on
Ghiraldini - sub off
68 46 - 11 del Fava - try
69 Bastareaud - sub on
Jauzion - sub off
46 - 13 M Bergamasco - conversion
70 Mas - sub on
Domingo - sub off
72 46 - 18 Canavosio - try
73 46 - 20 M Bergamasco - conversion
76 Gower - sub off
Bocchino - sub on
80+1 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
81

Notes

 
Result France won by a margin of 26 points
Six Nations points France 2, Italy 0
 
Ground name Stade de France, Paris
Attendance 78712
 
Referee DA Lewis (Ireland)
 
France Test debuts none
Italy Test debuts none

Teams

France Italy
Tries Harinordoquy (5), Marty (17, 25), Andreu (51), Jauzion (56), Lapandry (65) Tries del Fava (68), Canavosio (72)
Cons Parra (5, 18, 51, 57, 65) Cons M Bergamasco (69, 73)
Pens Parra (10, 41) Pens M Bergamasco (35, 44)

Match stats

France   Italy
6 Tries 2
5 from 6 Conversion goals 2 from 2
2 from 3 Penalty goals 2 from 2
77.8% Kick at goal success 100.0%
0 (1 missed) Dropped goals 0
Kick/pass/run
40 Kicks from hand 35
122 Passes 61
92 Runs 63
677 Metres run with ball 339
Attacking
11 Clean breaks 4
11 Defenders beaten 6
19 Offloads 14
61 from 65 (93.8%) Rucks won 48 from 50 (96.0%)
5 from 7 (71.4%) Mauls won 1 from 1 (100.0%)
12 Turnovers conceded 13
Defensive
54/6 Tackles made/missed 99/11
90.0% Tackling success rate 90.0%
Set pieces
6 won, 1 lost (85.7%) Scrums on own feed 5 won, 2 lost (71.4%)
8 won, 2 lost (80.0%) Lineouts on own throw 10 won, 5 lost (66.7%)
Discipline
13 Penalties conceded 15
0/0 Yellow/red cards 1/0

Fra stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Poitrenaud 0/0 0 8/8/8 81 2 2 3 0 0/0 0/0 2 0/0
W Andreu 1/1 5 1/3/9 147 2 1 2 1 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Marty 2/0 10 0/4/7 52 1 1 2 0 4/0 0/0 1 0/0
C Jauzion 1/0 5 2/8/11 57 1 1 2 1 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Palisson 0/0 0 2/6/8 39 0 1 2 2 2/1 0/0 1 0/0
FH Trinh-Duc 0/2 0 6/17/4 21 0 0 1 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH Parra 0/1 16 9/47/4 18 1 1 2 1 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Domingo 0/0 0 0/0/3 21 1 1 1 0 3/0 0/0 1 0/0
H Servat 0/0 0 0/1/7 21 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/1 0 0/0
P Mas 0/0 0 0/0/2 5 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 2 0/0
L Nallet 0/0 0 0/1/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 1/0 1 0/0
L Pierre 0/0 0 0/3/2 12 0 0 0 0 3/0 4/0 2 0/0
F Dusautoir 0/0 0 0/1/4 44 1 0 1 1 3/0 0/0 2 0/0
F Bonnaire 0/0 0 0/3/5 20 0 0 1 1 5/3 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Harinordoquy 1/1 5 0/7/6 49 1 1 0 2 5/0 3/2 0 0/0
(H) Szarzewski 0/0 0 0/1/3 3 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Poux 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Chabal 0/0 0 0/0/1 12 0 0 0 2 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Lapandry 1/0 5 0/0/1 23 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FH) Yachvili 0/0 0 1/10/1 2 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Bastareaud 0/0 0 0/0/3 20 0 1 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FB) Malzieu 0/0 0 1/2/2 30 1 1 2 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Italy stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB McLean 0/0 0 6/0/2 29 0 2 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Masi 0/0 0 0/1/4 31 1 1 0 2 6/0 0/0 1 0/0
C Canale 0/0 0 2/1/4 2 0 0 1 1 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Garcia 0/0 0 0/0/5 25 0 1 1 1 5/0 0/0 1 1/0
W M Bergamasco 0/0 10 1/0/2 26 0 0 1 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Gower 0/0 0 7/15/4 18 0 0 2 3 5/0 0/0 1 0/0
SH Tebaldi 0/0 0 3/10/1 2 0 0 0 1 2/1 0/0 1 0/0
P Perugini 0/0 0 0/0/3 2 0 0 1 0 5/1 1/0 1 0/0
H Ghiraldini 0/0 0 0/1/1 0 0 0 0 0 8/1 0/0 1 0/0
P Castrogiovanni 0/0 0 0/1/6 10 0 0 1 0 8/0 0/1 1 0/0
L Geldenhuys 0/0 0 0/2/7 12 0 0 0 2 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Bortolami 0/0 0 0/1/1 0 0 0 0 1 8/1 2/0 3 0/0
F Sole 0/0 0 0/0/4 15 0 0 1 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
F M Bergamasco 0/0 0 0/3/2 9 0 0 0 0 7/0 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Zanni 0/0 0 0/3/7 57 1 0 4 1 8/3 5/1 1 0/0
(H) Ongaro 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 1 0/0
(P) Aguero 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) del Fava 1/0 5 0/0/3 21 0 0 0 0 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Derbyshire 0/1 0 0/0/2 33 1 0 2 0 3/0 1/0 0 0/0
(SH) Canavosio 1/0 5 7/23/4 47 1 2 0 1 1/1 0/0 0 0/0
(FH) Bocchino 0/0 0 1/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Robertson 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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