Can there be more beautiful tribute to Christophe Dominici than a number 11 of the XV of France slaloming between opponents to go flatten in the in-goal? The French team again dismissed the Italians in two stages, Saturday, November 28, to win widely 36-5, in a match marked by the memory of the former international, who died Tuesday, November 24.
The try of the third row Gabin Villière at the hour mark, walking in the Italian defense before scoring, is in fact in line with the style of “Domi”, whose portrait was displayed in the Dionysian enclosure of the Stade de France, still behind closed doors. But the French winger, who honored like many other players his first selection, also released his partners, allowing them to take off with the hour of play.
Coach Fabien Galthié was forced to rotate his squad, most of his executives having already played the three international matches authorized by the Top 14 clubs during the fall matches.
Without their typical team and with five neophytes – Rodrigue Neti, Jean-Pascal Barraque, Killian Geraci, Baptiste Pesenti, Gabin Villière – in the fifteen entry lines (plus six on the bench), the Blues have had difficulty making the difference in the first period (10-5) against the “Squadra Azzurra”. Using and abusing kicking and occupation, they almost never managed to make a difference against the Italian curtain.
It was also Italy which scored the first try by Carlo Canna (26e). The Parma Zebras center played against the French defense in the left corner after a good job from opener Paolo Garbisi.
Italy at 14
But shortly before the break, the center of the French Stadium Jonathan Danty appeared to receive a pass from Baptiste Serin, exiting the scrum at 5 meters, and broke the Italian defense like a ram (36e). The Stade Français center hadn’t worn the blue jersey for four years.
In the second half, the French first benefited from a favorable decision. The 100 international referee Nigel Owens sent Italy’s Jacopo Trulla for ten minutes for a missed interception, which was considered a voluntary forward.
When he returned ten minutes later, his team had conceded… 19 points. A test by Villière therefore, before Baptiste Serin and Teddy Thomas widened the gap with speed and percussion. Sekou Macalou also participated in the success after the siren sounded at the end of regulation time.
The French sign a tenth consecutive victory against Italy and therefore finish in first place in their group ahead of Scotland, second. To win the title of this unprecedented competition, the French will therefore have to scrape with England, during a “Crunch” December 6 in London. The mission promises to be delicate in the face of the reigning vice-world champion and winner of the last Six Nations Tournament, who will benefit from his vital strength.