Wednesday 7 December 2016

Azzurri desperate to pick up pieces

France 30 Italy 12 Hugh Godwin

Published 06/02/2012 | 05:00

Italy wing Luke McLean said he had only ever driven past the Olympic Stadium, which is to be used for the first time in the Six Nations, with around 65,000 tickets already sold for next week's game with England.

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Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who regretted a couple of scrummaging lapses during France's four-tries-to-none victory on Saturday, said his only experience of the stadium had been watching Roma and Lazio play there.

"It's a historic ground for football," he said, "and it will give us a great motivation."

Castrogiovanni disagreed with Welsh referee Nigel Owens' decision to penalise him at a scrum in the last 10 minutes that led eventually to France's fourth try, by debutant Wesley Fofana.

In the first half it was an Italian scrum lost against the head that allowed a break by No 8 Louis Picamoles to send Julien Malzieu in.

Taking into account the first French try -- scored by Aurelien Rougerie after a free-kick for Edoardo Gori's delayed put-in -- and the third when a fumble between Kris Burton and Cornelius van Zyl started a counter-attack involving Francois Trinh-Duc and Rougerie and finished by Vincent Clerc, the Azzurri's part in their own downfall was writ large. (© Independent News Service)

France -- M Medard; V Clerc, A Rougerie (M Mermoz 75), W Fofana, J Malzieu; F Trinh-Duc (L Beauxis 75), D Yachvili (M Parra 62); V Debaty (J-B Poux 62), W Servat (D Szarzweski 55), N Mas (Debaty 75); P Pape, L Nallet (Y Maestri 51), T Dusautoir (capt), J Bonnaire, L Picamoles (I Harinordoquy 65).

Italy -- A Masi; G Venditti, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi (G Canale 56), L McLean; K Burton (T Botes 56), E Gori (F Semenzato 75); A Lo Cicero (L Cittadini 63), L Ghiraldini (T D'Apice 75), M Castrogiovanni; C Van Zyl (M Bortolami 56), Q Geldenhuys; A Zanni, R Barbieri (S Favaro 67), S Parisse.

REF -- N Owens (Wales).

Irish Independent

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