Sunshine, full stands, a big victory and the offensive bonus point as a bonus: the party was total at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, Sunday March 27. The women’s XV of France launched its Six Nations Tournament perfectly by beating Italy (39-6). By scoring five tries, Annick Hayraud’s players also won the offensive bonus point. They are second behind England (unlike the point average) before receiving Ireland next Saturday in Toulouse.
The XV of France, on Sunday at the foot of the Vercors mountains, showed almost perfect realism to score five tries for a valiant Italian team. It was first Madoussou Fall who opened the tricolor counter after the quarter of an hour of play (17and), quickly imitated by Emeline Gros (25and).
The wide was already taken for the French who managed to flatten in the Italian in-goal with each breakthrough in the opposing 22 meters. After a third attempt by Léa Murie (58and), the Blues (in white for the occasion) then pushed to win the offensive bonus.
The flash came from Emilie Boulard (75and) before Chloé Jacquet (78and) drives the point home. On the third and fifth tries, the entry during the match of the experienced Laure Sansus did the team a world of good, allowing them to pack the match in front of more than 13,000 spectators.
#MissionAccomplished for @FranceRugby as Boulard clinches the bonus-point try 🙌 #Breitling #SquadOnAMission https://t.co/c237Q0IeUV
Hectic conquest but tight defense
However, everything was not perfect in the performance of the France team. The Blues have multiplied the inaccuracies with an incalculable number of advances. The scrums continued throughout the match. A sector where France has suffered particularly. It was in the conquest more generally that Gaëlle Hermet’s teammates were heckled: in melee, therefore, but also in touch. “There is still work to refine the game project”admitted the woman of the match Madoussou Fall at the microphone of France 2.
The France team then relied on an iron defense, just like the Bordeaux second line (15 tackles, 100% success). She never gave in under the successive waves of the Squadra Azzura, scraping balls at the right moment like when Melissa Bettoni thought she had scored the first try of the match.
“We still have a lot to work on but we had a good second half”, noted Emeline Gros. Positive point of this first day for coach Annick Hayraud: she can count on “finishers” dear to Fabien Galthié. The substitutes have indeed brought real new blood to the image of Laure Sansus but especially front line players Laura Touyé, Coco Lindelauf and Assia Khalfaoui, who was celebrating her first selection.
Entering the hour mark, they immediately pushed Italy into a foul in the scrum and reversed the balance of power for the end of the match. Tired, the Squadra Azzurra no longer managed to contain the tricolor offensive ardor which had regained some precision in its game.
Thanks to this victory, the Tricolores begin their assumed quest for a grand slam, which they have not achieved since 2018. Next step, against Ireland, in Toulouse, Saturday April 2 (3:15 p.m.).