/ France

/ Reaction

France 30-10 Italy
Second-half spell pleases Saint-Andre
ESPN Staff
February 9, 2014
Bonneval's try capped a tremendous start to the second half for France © Getty Images

Philippe Saint-Andre declared himself happy that his side demonstrated they had learnt their lesson from last week's win over England as they kept their Six Nations Grand Slam bid on track with a 30-10 victory over Italy.

France were nearly undone against England, down largely in part to a slow start in the second half, and again against Italy they came out for the second half with a slender lead - just 9-3 ahead after a cagey opening 40 minutes. But they ensured there was no repeat, roaring into life from the restart as Louis Picamoles, Wesley Fofana and debutant Hugo Bonneval killed off Italy's resistance with tries in a devastating nine-minute spell.

For the opening hour France were largely untroubled - but late on they lost Sebastien Vahaamahina to the bin and had Rabah Slimani sent off as Italy grabbed a consolation try. But despite a disappointing final 20 minutes Saint-Andre was happy to focus on the positives.

"Last week, the beginning of the second-half against England was terrible, so we were very focused to start well in the second-half," Saint-Andre said.

"We did some good work for 55-60 minutes. We scored three tries, but nothing happened in the last 20 minutes. There were lots of penalties for both sides and two red cards.

"It was a good 60 minutes, but very disappointing for the last 20. We didn't have any ball."

Slimani's sending off was perhaps the only blemish on an afternoon which saw France join Ireland as the only remaining Grand Slam hopeful. The prop saw red after an exchange of punches with opposite number Michaele Rizzo, who was also given his marching orders - becoming the first players to be sent off in the Six Nations since 2006.

The pair will face disciplinary hearings to see whether they will face bans - but Saint-Andre admits he did not want to let that or Vahaamahina's late yellow card take away from a resounding win.

"The yellow card was very harsh," he said. "The red cards, I think there was a scrum and something dodgy. I just prefer to see the three good tries we scored.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Tennis

    Quick-fire Murray cruises through but Nadal's Miami blind-spot continues

    Andy Murray approached another milestone as his 499th career victory put him in the fourth round of the Miami Open, but Rafael Nadal's wait for a Key Biscayne title goes on after he was ousted by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco

  • Football

    Luis Suarez says he'd only play for Liverpool in a Premier League return

    Luis Suarez graced the Anfield turf again on Sunday and vowed that if he ever returned to England, it would only be to play for Liverpool

  • Rugby

    NSW dominate Under-20 squad selection

    Andrew Kellaway is one of 12 players from the national championship-winning NSW Under-20 side named in the Australia squad for the Oceania championship

  • Rugby

    Fiji win Hong Kong Sevens

    Fiji win the 40th Hong Kong Sevens, defeating reigning champions New Zealand 33-19 in the Cup final for their 15th title

  • Football

    Anfield welcomes back Luis Suarez with open arms

    Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher

  • Rugby

    Quade Cooper gives Reds fans reason to believe

    Queensland are worth watching again, even if victory over the Lions would have papered over cracks, because Quade Cooper is back in the No.10 jersey, Greg Growden writes

  • Rugby

    Cooper makes a strong return to take title

    In a exciting return from injury, Quade Cooper thrilled fans to become Player of the Round, while a new star now leads the medal tally

  • Rugby

    Cultured Hurricanes are all heart

    The Hurricanes have always been a franchise rich on talent, but something was always awry; not any more as they look the real deal Sam Bruce writes

  • Week in Words

    Old dog, new tricks

    In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Dion Dublin makes something of a career change, RFU officials have some harsh words for the national team, and Kell Brook is eyeing a bigger prize...

  • Football

    A Klose call

    Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income