samedi, février 03, 2007

Azzurri downed by the champions

Great job for Italy : 3 points!!!!

Defending champions France kicked off their RBS Six Nations campaign with a comfortable 39-3 victory over Italy in Rome.
The hosts of this year's World Cup produced a professional answer to their growing detractors, ramming home their superiority both in the tight and loose exchanges to triumph.

David Skrela - earning only his second France cap - was an outstanding figure on the afternoon, setting up two tries and kicking 11 points to make a real claim for the 10 jersey.
The Stade Francais man showed deft of hand and boot to set up scores for Cedric Heymans and Yannick Jauzion, while tries from the superb Sebastien Chabal and Christophe Dominici marked France's dominance.

It was Italy who started much the brighter out of the two sides, coming close to a try twice in the opening five minutes.
Two well-judged testing kicks by Andrea Scanavacca saw the ball go loose from the resulting aerial challenges, with Mauro Bergamasco and Josh Sole both close to capitalising.
Unfortunately Roland De Marigny could not turn the Azzurri's early pressure into points, missing two penalty opportunities to keep the scores deadlocked
. ( It is too bad, isn't it SPB ?? )

Predictably France were rather more clinical, and Skrela - making his first international appearance for over five years - took advantage of some good French scrummaging to settle any nerves with the game's opening score.
Les Bleus' scrum was their undoubted forte in the first 20 minutes, rumbling the Italians back towards their own try-line with Sale number eight Chabal making a shackled dash for the line.

One sensed the first try would inevitably fall to the visitors, but when it arrived it came in unexpected breakaway circumstances. Having lost their own line-out ball, France pressured their opponents into a handling error - allowing Dominici to hack the ball 80 metres upfield for a 10-0 converted scoreline.
Skrela was the man to kick the conversion, and he was soon contributing again in a fine return to the French line-up.
Attacking the blind side off the ruck, he flipped the ball into the arms of Heymans who went in under the posts.
The traffic certainly was not flowing in one solitary direction though, but Italy lacked the same clinical edge as Fabio Ongaro failed to make more of an overlap out wide.

They did manage to register three points before the break, Ramiro Pez succeeding where Scanavacca had previously failed.
It was to be a brief moment of joy for the Azzurri ( I hope they enjoyed it ) though, who went into half-time with there heads down after Chabal reached over from close range for a 22-3 half-time scoreline.

France boss Bernard Laporte's words at the interval would have asked for his team to pick up from where they left off, and they did just that with a second Chabal try four minutes after the restart.
Using his bulky frame to power over, the Sharks man made a real claim for a regular starting berth, Skrela doing the honours once more for 29-3.
Italy's response was to haul off their entire front row, but their real problem was now an inability to make any significant ground as they tried to run the ball from deep.
By contrast Skrela pounced on an opportunity to break on the hour mark, racing towards the corner before he was shoved out just inches short of a deserved try.
Florian Fritz and Jauzion both became growing factors in the contest as gaps appeared in the weary Italian defence, the Azzurri clinging on to keep the score below 30 points.
France's dominance could have been even clearer had their line-out not verged on the dysfunctional, but that did not stop Skrela opening his box of tricks.
Receiving the ball in the middle of the field, the Stade outside-half judged his diagonal kick to perfection, allowing Heymans to tap down to Jauzion for their fifth score of the afternoon.
The Italians rallied late on to give their home support something to cheer, but 16 phases saw them go absolutely nowhere as France showed an ominous determination to match their obvious technical superiority.

Now, I have to make a video for Shoopie ! ;)

2 commentaires:

humboldt a dit…

I certainly don't like soccer.

Father Demets a dit…

That's fine... but it was a rugby game ;)