Italy have been playing France since 1985 – it is one of women’s rugby’s oldest fixtures – but never have they been under the cosh as they were in Corsica this evening (24th February)
The Italians barely got out of their half in the opening 40 minutes.
Faced with wave upon wave of white French shirts all the Azzurri could do was defend and live off a few scraps. Their pack was going back at a rate of knots in most scrums, and that is what lead to the first try from Cyrielle Banet - Italy losing the ball against the head and France taking full advantage of a disordered backline to score. The only problem was that the knock Banet took in scoring would limit her participation in most of the rest of the game
France mixed that power with pace and exquisite handling and support play, and the tries kept coming. Banet added a second try on 14 minutes but went off soon afterwards with the shoulder injury.
To rub salt into the wound Jessy Tremouliere was in magnificent form with the boot, missing only one kick all evening. The 14-0 lead became 17-0 when France slightly oddly decided to kick a penalty after 24 mins, Tremouliere added a try of her own next – a hugely powerful run – before Marine Menager, on early for Banet, scored the bonus point try after just 35 minues.
A perfect French maul just before the break meant France were 38-0 ahead at halftime.
As with the opening game, however, France took a while to get going in the second half, and Italy had their chances to score in France for the first time since 2010 – but France showed they can defend as well as attack, and there was no way through.
But this meant that we were well into the final 10 minutes before France could add to their score. Audrey Forlani looked like she had been put in by some neat handwork by Yanna Rivoalen, but the pass was forward – but a minute later it was Forlani unloading to Rivoalen and France were up to 45-0.
Marine Manager then took the score to 50-0 following another scrum won against the head before Pauline Bourdon ended proceedings, Tremouliere converting to end as a 57-0 win for France, a result that was….
*The biggest ever margin of victory by France over Italy
*Equal to the largest every score by France against Italy (and the biggest in the Six Nations)
*The third biggest French win in the Six Nations
*The worst Italian Six Nations defeat to anyone other than England (and their third worst overall)
*Italy have still not scored in France since 2010
France v England in Grenoble in two week’s time promises to be unmissable!
France: 1. Caroline Thomas (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); 2. Agathe Sochat (Montpellier RC); 3. Julie Duval (Ovalie Caennaise); 4. Céline Ferer (AS Bayonnaise); 5. Safi N’diaye (Montpellier RC); 6. Marjorie Mayans (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); 7. Gaëlle Hermet (Stade Toulousain) – capitain; 8. Fiona Lecat (Stade Toulousain); 9. Pauline Bourdon (AS Bayonnaise); 10. Caroline Drouin (Stade Rennais Rugby); 11. Cyrielle Banet (Montpellier RC); 12. Camille Boudaud (Stade Toulousain); 13. Carla Neisen (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); 14. Caroline Boujard (Montpellier RC); 15. Jessy Tremouliere (Stade Rennais Rugby);
Replacements: 16. Miléna Soloch (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); 17. Lise Arricastre (Lons Rugby Béarn Pyrénées); 18. Patricia Carricaburu (Lons Rugby Béarn Pyrénées); 19. Audrey Forlani (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); 20. Romane Menager (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); 21. Yanna Rivoalen (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); 22. Gabrielle Vernier (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); 23. Marine Menager (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois)
Italy: 15 Manuela FURLAN (Iniziative Villorba Rugby), 63 Caps; 14 Sofia STEFAN (Stade Rennais Rugby, FRA), 40 Caps; 13 Michela SILLARI (Rugby Colorno), 41 Caps; 12 Beatrice RIGONI (Valsugana Rugby Padova), 29 Caps; 11 Maria MAGATTI (Rugby Monza 1949), 23 Caps; 10 Veronica MADIA (Rugby Colorno), 8 Caps; 9 Sara BARATTIN (Iniziative Villorba Rugby) 79 Caps – Capitano; 8 Giada FRANCO (Rugby Colorno), 1 Cap; 7 Isabella LOCATELLI (Rugby Monza 1949), 18 Caps; 6 Ilaria ARRIGHETTI (Stade Rennais Rugby, FRA), 32 Caps; 5 Giordana DUCA (Frascati Rugby Club 2015), 2 Cap; 4 Elisa PILLOTTI (Chicken CUS Pavia), 10 Caps; 3 Michela MERLO (Rugby Mantova, Tutorata Rugby Colorno), 1 Cap; 2 Melissa BETTONI (Stade Rennais Rugby, FRA), 43 Caps; 1 Gaia GIACOMOLI (Rugby Colorno), 8 Caps
Replacements: 16 Silvia TURANI (Rugby Colorno), 2 Cap; 17 Giorgia DURANTE (Montebelluna Rugby 1977, Tutorata Benetton Treviso), 1 Cap; 18 Chiara Maria D’APICE (Montevirginio Mini Rugby), debut; 19 Miriam PAGANI (Rugby Como) Esordiente; 20 Bianca Maria COLTELLINI (Gloucestr-Hartpury, ING), Esordiente; 21 Beatrice VERONESE (Valsugana R. Padova), 3 Cap; 22 Jessica BUSATO (Inziative Villorba Rugby), 3 Caps; 23 Aura MUZZO (Iniziative Rugby Villorba), 3 Cap