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Saint-Andre pleased with 60 minutes

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre declared himself happy with an hour of his team's latest RBS 6 Nations performance after they saw off Italy 30-10 in Paris.

Number eight Louis Picamoles, centre Wesley Fofana and debutant wing Hugo Bonneval all crossed during a devastating nine-minute spell early in the second period as France triumphed.

Scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain kicked three conversions and three penalties to underline French dominance, while Italy replied with a late Tommaso Ianonne try, converted by Luciano Orquera, and fly-half Tommaso Allan slotted a penalty.

It meant they matched Ireland's unbeaten start to the tournament after two rounds of action, but Italy now look set for a potential wooden-spoon clash at home to Scotland later this month.

"We did some good work for 55-60 minutes," Saint-Andre told BBC Sport.

"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."

The closing stages will be remembered for red cards rather than running rugby as South African Jaco Peyper sent off substitute props Michele Rizzo and Rabah Slimani.

Italy forward Rizzo started the skirmish with a head-butt, and when Slimani reacted in similar fashion Peyper brandished red cards after conferring with his assistant Craig Joubert and consulting television replays.

They became the first players to be sent off in a Six Nations game since 2006 when Scotland lock Scott Murray was dismissed against Wales in Cardiff.

And it was the first double dismissal in Five or Six Nations rugby for 22 years after French forwards Gregoire Lascube and Vincent Moscato were both sent off against England.

Asked about the sendings-off, Saint-Andre said he needed to look at video footage, but Slimani and Rizzo will now face disciplinary hearings.

It meant France were briefly reduced to 13 players following the sin-binning of lock Sebastien Vahaamahina kicking the ball away.

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

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


From Belfast Telegraph