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France win in Parma monsoon

A possible third successive “surprise” defeat for France seemed a real possibility for the first hour but France were able to make the most of the deteriorating weather conditions and ran out 22-12 winners. 

The Azzurre had performed well at the start with ball-in-hand, but up front France’s pack was always in control.

Strong wind and rain was a feature of the game from the start. With this behind them France’s first visit to the Italian end was rewarded with 3 points, from Pauline Bourdon. France’s scrumhalf has now taken over the kicking duties but missed a second, more difficult kick in the 15th minute, before Italy had their first real opportunity: A run by Sgorbini run, supported by her teammates arrives set up Giada Franco for the first try. Sillari converted for 7-3.

The French pack now took over and in the 25th minute it provided a perfect platform for a French attack: first a run with Berthoumieu, then a change of pace by Vernier who found room for the opening try. On 28' were reduced to 14 after Boujard was shown yellow for a high tackle on D'Incà but despite this France scored again when Berthoumieu beat Muzzo for speed and crashed over for the try. France lead 15-7 at the break.

In the second half Italy got off to a good start, forcing a series of French penalties before D'Incà forced her way over the line in the 49th minute after a series of pick & goes, Italy closing the gap to 15-12.

With the rain becoming heavier the ball became increasingly and pitch became increasingly slippery. Handling errors grew on both sides, and Italy found it even more difficult to hold the French pack, sliding backwards in the water-soaked turf

The Azzurri were unable to escape from their 22 for the final 20 minutes. Despite making errors themselves in the 75th minute closed the game out when Boujard eluded Barattin's tackle and scored. Given the conditions the conversion by Tremouliere was remarkable, and France lead 22-12, which is how the game ended

Italy : 15 Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, 14 Aura Muzzo, 13 Michela Sillari, 12 Beatrice Rigoni, 11 Alyssa D’Incà, 10 Veronica Madia, 9 Sofia Stefan, 8 Elisa Giordano (C), 7 Giada Franco, 6 Francesca Sgorbini, 5 Giordana Duca, 4 Valeria Fedrighi, 3 Lucia Gai, 2 Vittoria Vecchini, 1 Silvia Turani

16 Emanuela Stecca, 17 Gaia Maris, 18 Sara Seye, 19 Sara Tounesi, 20 Isabella Locatelli, 21 Sara Barattin, 22 Emma Stevanin, 23 Beatrice Capomaggi

France: 15 Emilie Boulard, 14 Cyrielle Banet, 13 Gabrielle Vernier, 12 Marine Ménager, 11 Caroline Boujard, 10 Carla Arbez, 9 Pauline Bourdon, 8 Charlotte Escudero, 7 Emeline Gros, 6 Axelle Berthoumieu, 5 Audrey Forlani (C), 4 Manae Feleu, 3 Assia Khalfaoui, 2 Agathe Sochat, 1 Annaëlle Deshaye

16 Célia Domain, 17 Coco Lindelauf, 18 Rose Bernadou, 19 Maëlle Picut, 20 Gaëlle Hermet, 21 Alexandra Chambon, 22 Jessy Trémoulière, 23 Marie Dupouy