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France 30 - 10 Italy: French burst sees off Italians


Sweeping finale: Hugo Bonneval goes over for France's third try

Sweeping finale: Hugo Bonneval goes over for France's third try

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Sweeping finale: Hugo Bonneval goes over for France's third try

France matched Ireland's unbeaten start to the RBS 6 Nations Championship after a second-half try blitz underpinned an emphatic 30-10 victory over Italy 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.

But 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.

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.

Just 9-3 up at the interval, Picamoles finally powered across the Italy line from 15 metres and before the Azzurri had time to regroup they were undone by Fofana's brilliance.

The Clermont Auvergne star broke two tackles on a surging run to the line for his ninth try in 23 Tests, and Doussain's conversion meant France were 20 points clear.

France had put their foot to the metal, and Italy had no answer, although they contributed to Les Bleus' third try when Fofana intercepted a pass just inside his own half that showcased stunning back play. Yoann Huget appeared on Fofana's left shoulder and sprinted deep into Italy's 22. When he was hauled down, Bonneval gathered to finish off a sweeping move.

Belfast Telegraph