Six Nations 2001
France toil to beat Italy in Rome
March 3, 2001
Report Match details
Date/Time: Mar 3, 2001, 14:00 local, 13:00 GMT
Venue: Stadio Flaminio, Rome
Italy 19 - 30 France
Attendance: 24973  Half-time: 9 - 14
Tries: Perziano
Cons: Dominguez
Pens: Dominguez 4
Tries: Bernat-Salles, Bonetti, Sadourny
Cons: Lamaison 3
Pens: Lamaison 3
Philippe Bernat-Salles rounds the Italian defence to score during a bruising clash at the Stadio Flaminio, March 3 2001
Philippe Bernat-Salles rounds the Italian defence to score
© Getty Images
Related Links
Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations
Teams: France | Italy

It had been a week of dreadful cold weather, with heavy rain and wind from Monday to Friday, but when Dominguez kicked off for Italy on Saturday afternoon at 2 o' clock, the temperature had risen to almost twenty degrees (C°) and signs of early spring welcomed the players on the pitch as well the 25,000 supporters on the stands.

It was the first of a few good omens for Italy. It seemed that the Gods really were on their side when at beginning of the second half France were unable to score from a three man overlap with only ten meters to run. Then Dominguez' fourth kick at goal hit the bar before bouncing in on the right side to give Italy three more points and just before the end of the game referee Chris White did not award Olivier Magne a try from a five metre scrum which looked to be perfectly good from the stands.

Add that to the fact that France flyhalf Cristophe Lamaison had bad day with the boot, managing only a final unimpressive 6 out of 11, and you should be reading the story of another French defeat. It was not to be so for Italy. In the first half, Italy were unable to take advantage of the strong southerly breeze blowing behind them and French veteran fullback Jean Luc Sadourny not only was impeccable under the high ball but also managed to score a try, following a chip kick by Christophe Lamaison, in the 14th minute. Sadourny, recalled by coach Bernard Laporte to replace injured first choice at number 15 Xavier Garbajosa, was also in on the move of his team's backs which put winger Philippe Bernat-Salles on a scoring run in the 25th minute.

Seconds later Dominguez had Italy back in touch with another penalty but despite sustained periods of determined Italian pressure the Azzurri fail to break through the French lines and seriously threaten their try line.

An uninspired Lamaison missed an easy penalty from in front of the posts minutes before half time just for the first half to end 14-9 for France.

The second half started with France kicking deep trying to keep Italy at bay, but it was Italy's winger Massimiliano Perziano who came close, beaten to the ball by the last French defender.

Then Italy decided to run a penalty within the French 22, the forwards drove for the line, but failed to turn the move into points.

A nervous Alessandro Troncon once again hesitated in choosing the right option and lost the ball from an attacking position to give France the chance of an almost certain try. A last second tackle by Denis Dallan saved Italy from conceding 7 points as Magne failed to pass to Dominici within the Italian 22. Italy escaped with just a penalty, which Lamaison gratefully accepted taking France to 17-12.

Italy replied with a penalty from 35 meters out. Dominguez bounced it in off the post, and in the 17th minute Lamaison missed another chance at goal, but seconds later given another chance he made no mistake.

Italy kept committing errors in their own half, making no headway and visibly lacking attacking options. With just 15 minutes to go Brad Johnstone decided to replace Alessandro Troncon with Queirolo. The Montferrand scrum half's muscle injury was nagging him and it was definitely not the most inspired afternoon of his life.

In the 70th minute Italy was penalised for holding the ball but Lamaison failed once more to turn the chance into points and with just 10 minutes to go a low chip by Dallan, put through by Diego Dominguez, was sprinted after by Perziano who dived onto the ball for Italy's first try. Dominguez as reliable as ever, converted to make it 19 - 23. It was a short lived hope for Italy.

Lamaison kicked a penalty from the half way line in the hope of giving a few more points to the French cushion but the ball dropped short. However, France kept up the pressure and a last minute attacking run gave them the winning try under the posts which La Maison slammed through 30 -19.

Italy came close, but not close enough and will have to wait for the Gods and another day before notching up a second Six nations win.


Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.