With a great Antoine Dupont, the XV of France outclassed a weak Italian team (50-10) and perfectly launched a new campaign of the Six Nations Tournament, Saturday at the Olympic stadium in Rome.
More experienced, faster and more skillful than the Nazionale, rejuvenated, the Blues fulfilled their contract, with the offensive bonus in the key, by scoring seven tries including a double from winger Teddy Thomas. They temporarily take the lead before the second match of the day between England and Scotland in London (5.45 p.m.). After the second place acquired in 2020, this Tournament must be that of confirmation for Fabien Galthié’s troop, in search of a first title since 2010.
Under the sun and in the sweetness of the “Eternal city” (21 ° C Saturday), the Blues strolled against the weakest team in the Tournament, whose last victory in the competition dates back to February 2015.
Antoine Dupont’s performance
With in particular a double from Teddy Thomas and Antoine Dupont at the helm, this time they took care of the scale of the score. The Toulouse scrum-half alone scored a try and delivered three assists, including a low kick at the exit of the maul who found Gaël Fickou.
After the exit of Antoine Dupont at the hour mark, the case was already folded (45-3) on a sixth transformation of the opener Matthieu Jalibert. The number 10 of Bordeaux-Bègles did the job in the absence of Romain Ntamack (jaw) in front of the poles but also in the game where his kicks made it possible to find spaces against Italians not comfortable on air balloons.
Other usual replacements have been highlighted, the third row Dylan Cretin and the center Arthur Vincent, each registering their first try in the blue jersey. Dylan Cretin replaced François Cros (right foot) and Arthur Vincent had been established in place of Virimi Vakatawa (knee). Brice Dulin confirmed his return to the highest level at 30 by converting a kick over winger Gabin Villière.
The start of Italy
Italy nevertheless saved the honor with a quarter of an hour from the end thanks to Luca Sperandio. But faced with these Blues, the Nazionale, altered, had no chance. She conceded a 28e straight loss in the Tournament. The Nazionale had to deal with the absence of two of its best players, Wasps back Matteo Minozzi, who declined the selection, and Gloucester third row Jake Polledri, injured in a knee. To make matters worse, coach Franco Smith had to manage a last-minute package, that of left pillar Chérif Traoré, replaced by neophyte Daniele Rimpelli (23).
In its second match, the selection of Fabien Galthié will face Ireland next Sunday in Dublin, where it has not won since 2011.
Scotland win 11-6 in England, a first since 1983
Scotland kicked off their 2021 Six Nations Tournament in the best possible way by beating England (11-6) on Saturday, Scotland’s first success in London since 1983. A try from South African-born winger Duhan van der Merwe (29e) made the difference for the Scots at Twickenham, facing the two-time English title holders.