Rugby World Cup , Pool D - Twickenham, 19 September 2015, 20:00 local, 19:00 GMT
France (15) 32 - 10 (3) Italy (FT)

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Summary

Time Score  
 

1

And we are go at Twickenham!

2

France, in a natty red outfit that they wore against Scotland two weeks ago, win the first lineout of the game.

3

France looking to threaten from midfield but they are penalised for crossing and it is a scrum to Italy. However, the Italians are then pinged for bringing the scrum down and France may well have a pop at goal as a result. Yes, they will.

4

Frederic Michalak lining up the kick from about 40 yards out, left of centre. Close to the post... too close to the post! It hits the left upright and bounces down to oohs and aahs from a very partisan crowd. The Eurostar from Paris to London must have been bouncing today, not to mention the sizeable French population that already lives in the capital that seems to have jaunted down to Twickenham.

6 3 - 0

Dumb penalty given away by Quintin Geldenhuys for kicking the ball away. That's the third penalty against the Italians in the first five minutes. Michalak to try again. No problem this time.

8

And another penalty against the Italians, this time at least it's in the French half. Not releasing the ball at the bottom of the ruck. It breaks up the first period of Italian attacking.

9

Good move from France and they're threatening the Italian line. And - well, guess what? It's TMO time! The ball appears to bound off an Italian defender and into Noa Nakaitaci's arms. That's the ruling - TRY TIME!

10 6 - 0

Oh dear. The TMO farce has just deepened. How is that even possible? The decision is referred to the TMO to review the pass towards Nakaitaci. All good there. However, just as the conversion is being lined up, the replay on the big screen in the stadium shows that the French wing has dropped the ball. It should be a knock on, and that's the verdict. But oh my, how did Craig Joubert, the referee, let that happen? France end up kicking a penalty. Nobody can be entirely sure why. Does anyone know anything any more?

11

13

A good break leads to Italy being awarded their first shot at goal. Thomas Allan to have a dig - wide left! Pulled pretty badly from right of centre but not exactly a testing kick.

14

16

Italy sustaining some pressure again, but "Seven sealing off under pressure", according to Joubert. Seven being Francesco Minto. Penalty France, booted into touch at halfway, pressure alleviated.

19

And another kick off the post! Michalak has hit the left upright twice now with three points to play for. France have let a few points get away from them in the opening quarter.

21

23

Italy pushing forward again. Campagnaro driving into the 22 - and losing it in the tackle. And France look to counter-attack through Huget. And now Basteraud. And now Nakaitaci. When France get their flow going, they look terrific.

24

Of course, when it goes wrong, it looks terrible. A dropped pass in midfield and they are slammed into reverse. Spedding boots for territory, deep into the Italian 22. Start again, everybody.

26

France build in the Italian midfield, a chip over the top from Michalak is cleared up well but the play goes back for another penalty against the Italians in the breakdown. Michalak to try again from a very similar distance from where he hit the post previously. No trouble this time, three points.

27 9 - 0

Michalak - penalty goal

30

Not much to update you on, I'm afraid. Even referee Joubert seems to have decided the players need a break. A scrum is awarded in the French half and nobody is in too much of a rush to get the play back underway. And when it does, the Italians are penalised once again. Then the French. Yep, it's that kind of scrappy right now.

32

33 9 - 3

Penalty to Italy and Allan fancies his chances from around 45 yards. He gets it right this time, starting it off slightly further right than his last effort and it curls round perfectly through the uprights.

35

The Italians have a wonderful word for this type of game: staccato. Stop-start doesn't do this justice.

37 12 - 3

A penalty to France. Spedding from his own half is going to have a boot. And that is right on the limit of his range. It creeps over the bar and Twickenham is taken aback by the sheer audacity of it all.

38

France seem immediately lifted by that kick. They charge the kick-off straight back down the field, Huget leading the cavalry. Italy want half-time now.

39 15 - 3

From the ensuing lineout, another penalty to France. Michalak to kick this time, and he slots it with ease. A French try is all that's missing from underlining their dominance.

40

And that's the half! France take a 12-point lead into the break, and it should arguably be much more.

40+1

40+2

Tom Hamilton's thoughts from his vantage point at Twickenham: "Come half-time and there is a feeling of this game being the dust cart following the Lord Mayor's show earlier in Brighton. In a scrappy game, France have been the side attempting to push the pace of the match, but overly officious refereeing has stunted any flowing play. The standout player has been France No.8 Louis Picamoles - he has been by far the shining light over a match that is failing to hold its own in a day of World Cup drama. Michalak has been erratic from the tee while Scott Spedding's howitzer of a boot caused the loudest cheer of the half - bar the Mexican Wave - when he knocked over a 54-metre penalty."

40

We're back underway, and no sooner is the ball in play, the Italians give away another penalty deep in their own territory. Different half, same story.

41 18 - 3

Michalak boots through. This is getting away from the Italians, fast.

43 23 - 3

Astonishing stuff. Nakaitaci breaks clear in the first instance, then finds the prop Guirado who holds off a tackler for a good 20 metres then just about makes the line! Narrowly short, but the French keep the attack going and Michalak's kick through pops up beautifully for Rabah Slimani to dive over the line for the game's first try. When France play like that, they can beat anyone.

44 25 - 3

46

Italy are in a spin. Another penalty at the breakdown, they just can't get into Craig Joubert's good books. France, sensing this is their moment, kick for touch instead of kicking for more points.

48

Italy are throwing caution to the wind and benefiting greatly from it. A quick tap gets them onto the edge of the French line for the first time in the entire game. The French sense of adventure beginning to rub off on their opponents. And... it's TMO time!

49

There's a burst of about three knock-ons in the space of two seconds as the ball squirts loose from a ruck. It might be a French knock on, it might be an Italian knock on, and it might be an Italian try. Given the mess of previous reviews, this could take a while - it's one of the hardest ones to work out that there has been.

50

Knock on by Italy, France put-in at the scrum. That was quicker than expected.

51 25 - 8

Italy manage to keep the pressure on, even from the French scrum, and winger Giovanbattista Venditti is the man who gets to cross the line, initially in the right corner before running towards the posts. You have to wonder why both teams played 40 minutes so conservatively when they can put together attacking play like this.

52 25 - 10

Allan - conversion

54

Oh dear - a really bad break here for France. Yoann Huget is attempting to skip past a tackle from Luke McLean when his knee buckles underneath him. He throws the ball away in agony and is now receiving treatment. His match is over, that much seems certain, and there will be an anxious wait to see what his long-term prognosis is.

55

56

The play is ongoing but television pictures show Huget in a desperate state on the French bench. The tears are flowing. Seems wrong to intrude on private grief, but there you go.

57

FIGHT! Well, the modern day equivalent at least. A bit of shoving and pulling and barging off the ball. Italy substitute Michele Rizzo started it, if any teachers are keeping note.

59

62

Well, the crowd are loving a little departure of a wild pass going all the way back to the French line, via some more pushing off the ball. It's clearly approaching panto season in London. Craig Joubert, as is his wont, had awarded a scrum anyway, so none of it mattered.

64

Penalty against Italy for collapsing the scrum on their own put-in. Which seems like a particularly deflating failing. It's been that kind of night for the Italy pack.

66

France are still trying to find the gear they'd struck early in this half, but a pass from Dusautoir goes awry. Meanwhile, Kayser is off for treatment to a nasty knock above the eye inflicted upon him by his own team-mate, Bernard le Roux, in an accidental clash.

68 30 - 10

Mas - try

69 32 - 10

Nicolas Mas has a try! And it's a smart try too, tapping down against the foot of the post pad after rolling from a ruck with the ball and crashing towards the line. Not exactly the cleanest of touchdowns you'll see, but no need for the TMO that time. Or maybe even the officials are bored of that now.

70

72

Italy looking to get a consolation score - a rolling maul seems to be getting entered from the side by France, but they go unpunished. Joubert demands that Italy "use it once", which they do pronto. Phase after phase but they're not going anywhere until it's thrown out wide to McLean, then worked back inside then outside again, then Enrico Bacchin is dragged into touch. Right idea, at least, but just too slow to really threaten France.

74

Kayser is back on with a significant amount of tape around his head. Heck of an effort to clean up his face from that earlier knock.

75

Frederic Michalak gets a tremendous ovation from the Twickenham crowd as he trots off. Nineteen points from his boot tonight - good work if you had him as your kicker in your fantasy team!

78

A huge kick upfield from Italy looks to be bouncing awkwardly for a retreating Spedding, under pressure from Palazzani. However, he adjusts his step absolutely brilliantly and not only grabs the loose ball on the bounce but skips past the Italian and straight onto the attack. It gets some whoops and whistles from those who haven't yet turned in for the night.

79

Italy pursuing a consolation score. They build through the phases in the French 22 and have a penalty for offside pending, but they want more than that. Rizzo forward, Palazzani forward, the entire team forward. Joubert gets bored and blows for the earlier infringement.

80

And that is that. Full time at Twickenham, and a solid, at times impressive, but far from spectacular victory for France!

80+1

Tom Hamilton sums up from Twickenham: "It was a case of job done for France but it was a victory that will potentially marred by what looked to be a worrying knee injury to Yoann Huget. They will wait nervously on his prognosis but they can take solace in the performance of Louis Picamoles who was wonderful. And in Scott Spedding they have a fullback who offers an assured presence while their front-row was immense. They lack direction in the midfield and are missing Wesley Fofana but that is a luxury Italy can only dream of. They offered little in structured attack leaving this Pool to already seem to be a two-horse race between Ireland and France."

80+2

Read the full match report here

Timeline

Time France  Score  Italy
0 start of first half start of first half
6 Michalak - penalty goal 3 - 0
10 Michalak - penalty goal 6 - 0 Bacchin - sub on
Masi - sub off
27 Michalak - penalty goal 9 - 0
33 9 - 3 Allan - penalty goal
37 Spedding - penalty goal 12 - 3
39 Michalak - penalty goal 15 - 3
40 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
41 Michalak - penalty goal 18 - 3
43 Slimani - try 23 - 3
44 Michalak - conversion 25 - 3
49 Rizzo - sub on
Aguero - sub off
Cittadini - sub on
Castrogiovanni - sub off
51 25 - 8 Venditti - try
52 25 - 10 Allan - conversion
54 Fickou - sub on
Huget - sub off
56 Tillous-Borde - sub off
Parra - sub on
60 Guirado - sub off
Kayser - sub on
Ben Arous - sub off
Debaty - sub on
Minto - sub off
Favaro - sub on
62 Mas - sub on
Slimani - sub off
Manici - sub on
Ghiraldini - sub off
65 Picamoles - sub off
le Roux - sub on
66 Guirado - sub on
Kayser - sub off
68 Flanquart - sub on
Maestri - sub off
Mas - try
30 - 10
69 Michalak - conversion 32 - 10
71 Furno - sub off
Bernabo - sub on
Gori - sub off
Palazzani - sub on
74 Guirado - sub off
Kayser - sub on
75 Michalak - sub off
Tales - sub on
78 Allan - sub off
Canna - sub on
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
80

Notes

 
Result France won by a margin of 22 points
Rugby World Cup points France 4, Italy 0
 
Ground name Twickenham Stadium, London (neutral venue)
Attendance 76232
 
Referee CP Joubert (South Africa)
 
France Test debuts none
Italy Test debuts none

Teams

France Italy
Tries Slimani (43), Mas (68) Tries Venditti (51)
Cons Michalak (44, 69) Cons Allan (52)
Pens Michalak (6, 10, 27, 39, 41), Spedding (37) Pens Allan (33)

Match stats

France   Italy
2 Tries 1
2 from 2 Conversion goals 1 from 1
6 from 8 Penalty goals 1 from 2
80.0% Kick at goal success 67.0%
0 Dropped goals 0
Kick/pass/run
28 Kicks from hand 26
157 Passes 107
107 Runs 94
431 Metres run with ball 298
Attacking
46% (46%/47%) Possession (1H/2H) 54% (54%/53%)
43% (40%/44%) Territory (1H/2H) 57% (60%/56%)
7 Clean breaks 2
23 Defenders beaten 15
10 Offloads 3
68 from 71 (95.8%) Rucks won 70 from 78 (89.7%)
8 from 8 (100.0%) Mauls won 5 from 5 (100.0%)
12 Turnovers conceded 10
Defensive
109/15 Tackles made/missed 120/23
88.0% Tackling success rate 84.0%
Set pieces
4 won, 0 lost (100.0%) Scrums on own feed 3 won, 5 lost (37.5%)
12 won, 2 lost (85.7%) Lineouts on own throw 13 won, 1 lost (92.9%)
Discipline
16 (0) Penalties conceded (Freekicks) 18 (1)
0/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Fra stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Spedding 0/0 3 13/5/9 106 2 4 0 1 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Huget 0/0 0 0/1/3 3 0 1 0 1 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Bastareaud 0/0 0 2/10/11 33 0 3 3 1 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Dumoulin 0/0 0 0/6/8 24 0 1 1 2 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Nakaitaci 0/0 0 0/4/8 55 1 2 1 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Michalak 0/0 19 10/26/4 3 0 0 0 1 3/3 0/0 1 0/0
SH Tillous-Borde 0/0 0 1/40/3 0 0 0 1 0 3/0 0/0 1 0/0
P Ben Arous 0/0 0 0/0/1 8 0 1 0 0 7/0 0/0 3 0/0
H Guirado 0/0 0 0/2/6 30 1 1 0 0 9/3 0/0 2 0/0
P Slimani 1/0 5 0/3/2 12 1 0 0 0 6/1 0/0 2 0/0
L Pape 0/0 0 0/3/8 16 1 2 2 1 11/2 3/0 1 0/0
L Maestri 0/0 0 0/3/7 3 0 0 0 1 6/1 2/0 1 0/0
F Dusautoir 0/0 0 0/2/5 10 0 0 0 0 11/1 0/0 1 0/0
F Chouly 0/0 0 0/8/5 2 0 0 0 2 9/2 5/0 0 0/0
N8 Picamoles 0/0 0 1/7/14 73 1 5 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
(H) Kayser 0/0 0 0/1/3 22 0 1 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Debaty 0/0 0 0/1/1 0 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Mas 1/0 5 0/0/1 5 0 2 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(N8) le Roux 0/0 0 0/0/3 10 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Flanquart 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 2 0/0
(SH) Parra 0/0 0 0/28/0 0 0 0 0 0 3/1 1/0 0 0/0
(FH) Tales 0/0 0 0/4/1 0 0 0 0 1 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(W) Fickou 0/0 0 0/3/3 16 0 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Italy stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB McLean 0/0 0 3/5/4 31 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Sarto 0/0 0 0/1/7 55 0 3 0 0 6/2 0/0 1 0/0
C Campagnaro 0/0 0 0/0/7 5 0 1 0 2 11/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Masi 0/0 0 0/0/1 5 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Venditti 1/0 5 0/0/2 10 1 1 0 2 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
FH Allan 0/0 5 17/20/6 21 0 1 0 1 10/2 0/0 0 0/0
SH Gori 0/1 0 5/40/7 32 0 3 0 1 4/3 0/0 1 0/0
P Aguero 0/0 0 0/0/2 2 0 0 0 0 5/1 0/0 1 0/0
H Ghiraldini 0/0 0 0/2/6 30 1 1 1 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Castrogiovanni 0/0 0 0/0/3 1 0 0 0 0 4/1 0/0 3 0/0
L Geldenhuys 0/0 0 0/4/6 7 0 0 0 0 9/1 4/0 1 0/0
L Furno 0/0 0 0/2/5 5 0 0 0 1 11/1 3/1 3 0/0
F Zanni 0/0 0 0/2/6 25 0 1 0 0 11/2 4/0 3 0/0
F Minto 0/0 0 0/1/3 1 0 0 0 0 8/1 0/0 1 0/0
N8 Vunisa 0/0 0 0/3/9 46 0 1 0 0 11/2 0/0 1 0/0
(H) Manici 0/0 0 0/1/5 16 0 1 1 1 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Rizzo 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 1 0/0
(P) Cittadini 0/0 0 0/0/4 3 0 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 1 0/0
(L) Bernabo 0/0 0 0/1/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 1/0 0 0/0
(F) Favaro 0/0 0 0/3/3 2 0 0 0 1 4/2 0/0 0 0/0
(SH) Palazzani 0/0 0 0/16/2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FH) Canna 0/0 0 0/3/1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Bacchin 0/0 0 1/3/4 1 0 2 0 0 7/2 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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