Italy 22-21 France, Six Nations, Stadio Flaminio, Marc 12
Medard refuses to blame coaches
March 13, 2011
Andrea Masi scored a vital try for Italy © Getty Images
France fullback Maxime Medard has refused to lay the blame for Saturday's shock Six Nations loss to Italy at the feet of under pressure coach Marc Lievremont.
The reigning champions were beaten 22-21 by Nick Mallett's gutsy side in Rome, their first Championship loss to the Azzurri and a second defeat in as many outings after they came up short against England two weeks ago.
A try from fullback Andrea Masi and 17 points from the boot of winger Mirco Bergamasco helped the hosts to a famous win and Lievremont is now staring down the barrel, not that Medard sees it that way.
"We must take responsibility," Medard said."This defeat is not the fault of our coaches, who gave us the information we needed. We didn't execute it on the pitch.
"We made too many mistakes and didn't play the way we had to. We have to learn from our mistakes and focus on ending the tournament in the best possible way."
Italy skipper Sergio Parisse hailed the win as a 'dream come true'. Only England and Ireland now possess 100% records against the Azzurri since their introduction to the tournament in 2000.
"Since 2002, I and the rest of my team-mates have been dreaming of this moment," Parisse said. "To win against France at home is a dream come true. It's the merit of our great group and of our coach Nick Mallett.
"All Italians can be proud of what we have done. I told my team-mates that there's no harm in dreaming and in rugby when there's heart, will and belief, you cannot be stopped. France weren`t the team we thought we could beat ahead of the start to this tournament.
"In the past we have respected France too much but that was not the case. With five minutes remaining in the game, I looked at my team-mates and I knew we would do it. We were first to the ball, first to get up and tackle. We were spectacular, especially in defence."
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