Italy miss out on golden chance to beat France and avoid whitewash
A fortuitous performance from France condemned Italy to a 22nd consecutive Six Nations defeat with a 25-14 win at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday.
The Azzurri were already guaranteed the wooden spoon before kick-off, but dominated large parts of the game and missed several opportunities to record their first Championship win since 2015.
Jacques Brunel’s side pounced on their opportunities and weathered the Italian storm in defence as they recorded a win that places them fourth in the table, four points above Scotland ahead of their Calcutta Cup clash with England at Twickenham later.
Tries from Antoine Dupont and Yoann Huget either side of half time had given France the advantage, but Italy pegged them back with Tito Tebaldi’s score before Damian Penaud crossed the line late on to put the result beyond doubt.
However, Italy had two tries ruled out by the TMO in the final 20 minutes as they camped on the French line with just a six-point deficit.