France hammer Italy in Rome – 6 Nations

Italy 18-40 France

Italy eschewed the tactic of standing off at rucks that perplexed England but were nevertheless well beaten by France at the Stadio Olimpico and will collect the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon for a second straight season.

Coach Conor O’Shea’s side stunned England a fortnight ago, for long periods looking like causing a shock at Twickenham before succumbing to their hosts.

The Azzurri reverted to traditional tactics yet suffered a 10th consecutive Six Nations home loss while Les Bleus won away in the competition for the first time in two years, going back to their previous visit to Rome.

France led 16-11 at the break as midway through the first half Gael Fickou cancelled out Sergio Parisse’s early try.

A try for recalled wing Virimi Vakatawa early in the second period pulled the visitors clear and, having survived some intense home pressure, they scored again through Louis Picamoles and Brice Dulin, another man returning to the team, to earn a bonus point. Angelo Esposito crossed for a late consolation.

Fly-halves Camille Lopez and Carlo Canna were flawless with their goal-kicking, the former adding four penalties to as many conversions. Canna landed two penalties and two conversions.

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