To the fury of their fans, France confirmed their status as Rugby World Cup favorites and reached the quarter-finals with a confident and convincing 60-7 victory over Italy. The stunning victory ensured Les Bleus top spot in Group A, ahead of the All Blacks who had beaten Uruguay at the same stadium the night before.
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English referee Carl Dixon was widely criticized on social media for some of his decisions, notably denying Italy a try in the first half. But it was one-way traffic, despite France’s classy back line once again purring behind a dominant group of forwards.
Winger Damian Penaud followed up his scoring effort with a brace, while Yoram Moefana came off the bench to score a brace. Penaud has now scored in seven Tests in a row and is now the tournament’s top scorer with six, ahead of England’s Henry Arundell, Scotland’s Darcy Graham and New Zealand’s Damian McKenzie (all five).
France and New Zealand will now watch Sunday’s blockbuster (AEDT) clash between Ireland and Scotland in Paris to find out the name of their quarter-final opponents. French team have never won the Rugby World Cup and lost in three finals (1987, 1999 and 2011).
France Triumphs and Italy Reflects: Rugby World Cup 2023 Update
For the first time since 2003, they topped their pool. The first step has been taken, said man of the match Gregory Alldritt. We’re going to enjoy the weekend because it was a tough game today. This weekend we will recover and then prepare for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
“I’m pleased with the team’s performance. Today was a game with 23 players and I’m happy for everyone. Meanwhile, Italy have a lot to think about after they were also thrashed 96-17 by New Zealand a week ago. You just have to listen to the support they got, said coach Kieran Crowley.”
They were too good. We missed a lot of penalties early on and then we just didn’t pick up the pace because our breaking job wasn’t good enough. The interpretation sometimes left much to desired, but that’s how it was.
They were too physical, too powerful for us. Former All Blacks defender Crawley has parted ways with Italy after he is not offer a contract extension. Former Argentina national team star Gonzalo Quesada will take over the reins. These boys would die for you, Crowley said.
“They have a lot of pride. I just hope that after this they will be treated with more respect. The next World Cup cycle will have a lot of players who will have played 50 or 60 Test matches by then, so it will be a good one.”
France’s Dominance: A Quick Start and Eight Tries
France took less than two minutes to score the first of eight tries in a hugely impressive performance. These 60 points equaled their highest score against Italy in 1967 and their largest ever lead. Just eight months ago, France won the Six Nations 29-24. Of course, Penaud got the first try from his flank.
Following passes from hooker Peato Mauwaki, midfielder Mathieu Jalibert and fullback Thomas Ramos combined to send the right winger into the left corner. After Ramos converted and converted the spot-kick, Penaud took a surprise cross-field shot from Louis Biel-Biare and scored in the left corner.
Jalibert and Penaud combined to send Ramos through for the third try, and Jalibert’s brilliant improvisation allowed him to off-balance Penaud in the right corner for France’s fourth try.
Penaud’s Milestone: France’s Top Try Scorer
Penaud’s double took him past Vincent Clerc as the top scorer in France with 35 tries. Only the great Serge Blanco has more than 38 points. Italy international Simone Ferrari had a try disallowed after being heavily penalized for a chest-level tackle on Maxime Luc, who was playing in place of injured captain Antoine Dupont – in the build-up.
France led 31-0 at half-time and needed just seven minutes in the second half to resume play. Jalibert helped himself when he charged from close range from flanker Charles Ollivon’s pass, Mauwaka got try No.6 and Jalibert’s looped pass sent Moefana into the right corner.
At least the Italians sent off Crawley with a consolation try when flanker Manuel Zuliani crossed the line with 10 minutes remaining. But there was still time for Moefana to break away from another Jalibert pass. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
No Antoine Dupont, no problem – France into Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after decimating Italy
Antoine who? Without talisman Dupont and needing a win to reach the quarter-finals, France put Italy to the sword to face one of Ireland, South Africa or Scotland next Sunday in Paris.
France now waiting Saturday’s match at the Stade de France to find out their knockout opponents, but their own destiny at the top of Group A is assure after this eight-try win. On a warm autumn night in Lyon, stand-in captain Charles Ollivon and stand-in scrum-half Maxime Lucoux, Basque brothers in arms, went to a raucous second-half reception with the dual aim of ensuring France’s safe passage into the stadium. quarter-finals and to mitigate Dupont’s absence, with the captain working to return to the last eight.
“We still needed to win to qualify, which we did. And the score satisfies us, said France head coach Fabien Gatley. Tonight we will recover and enjoy each other’s company. We know that the Rugby World Cup quarter-final next Sunday, regardless of the opponents, will be the second Rugby World Cup final after New Zealand in the first match.”
What to do with unfortunate Italy? The most talented Azzurri team in a generation and history will remember their third place finish in Group A, but the what and why of last week should collected in France and left to rot in a Lyon skip; Conceding 156 points and scoring only 24.
Rugby World Cup Semi Final
After the recent promise, the Italian dream destroyed. It’s just the only try on Friday night, a late try from Manuel Zuliani after the earlier score is chalked up to questionable play from Simone Ferrari. He looked soft, but despite this, his head was free at the side. When something goes against you, it goes against you.
“It’s hard for me to assess, said Michele Lamaro, Italy’s captain. 5.5 out of 10. I can’t find the words to describe it. It’s hard to accept. Especially for us.”
There have been many brilliant performances of La Marseillaise in the annals, but the pre-match concert managed to reach new heights. How could France, inspired by such brutality, not start purposefully by putting its Rugby World Cup on the line? Ollivon played an important role; the same applies to the mammoth Gregory Aldritt. After several phases, Cyril Bayle and Cameron Vokey combined perfectly with each other, Mathieu Jalibert kept the move and Thomas Ramos sent Damian Penaud to the left flank. The perfect start.
With the Penaud-Jalibert-Ramos axis firing on all cylinders, the winger’s cross-field strike found fellow back three Louis Biel-Biare, who left three Italian defenders for dead to score. The trio would later team up again, with Ramos as the beneficiary.
Clinching the Bonus Point
To seal the now-academic bonus point, Jalibert unleashed a superb cross-field kick, falling backwards under Italian pressure. The ball flew straight into the baguette basket of Peno’s second from the flank.
With Italy collapsing, Jalibert got into the game, adding France’s fifth try, and Peato Mauwaka blasted home from a maul soon after. Yoram Moefana’s late double added the seventh and eighth for Les Bleu, providing consolation to Zuliani. United by a dream was the slogan of France. Returning to Paris, the dream lives on and only a formidable team can put an end to it.
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