France wing Teddy Thomas rued lacking the pace of Usain Bolt after he failed to stop Matteo Minozzi scoring a try for Italy in their Six Nations clash on Sunday.
Thomas was the first of five France players to touch down in a 35-22 bonus-point victory over Italy at the Stade de France, latching onto Romain Ntamack’s grubber kick in the seventh minute.
Charles Ollivon burrowed over on the left to give Les Bleus a 13-0 lead, but Minozzi capitalised on Thomas rushing forward and leaving space in behind to reduce the deficit.
Gregory Alldritt went over before half-time, while Ntamack and replacement scrum-half Baptiste Serin scored wonderful solo tries either side of Federico Zani’s score.
Mattia Bellini got a third try for Italy but they were unable to earn a bonus point at the death as they succumbed to a 24th straight loss in the Six Nations.
Asked about his defending on the Azzurri’s first, Thomas said: “I got up to close down quickly but the Italian number 10 has the right to play well.
“He managed to get out a pretty amazing pass and it was too late to turn around and get back. Unfortunately, I’m not Usain Bolt.
“It’s up to me to adapt to the system.”
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) February 9, 2020
Having beaten Rugby World Cup finalists England in their opening game, France sit top of the Six Nations standings with two wins from as many matches.
However, for the second game running they lost concentration in the second half and came under increasing pressure.
“Even if everything was not perfect, we must remember the positives. It would be pretentious not to be satisfied after a win, regardless of the opponent,” said Thomas.
“It’s not perfect, otherwise we would’ve taken 10 points from a possible 10. But nine out of 10 is still good enough.
“We are unable to say, ‘We’re going to win this tournament.’ What we are aiming for, first of all, is to keep our discipline for 80 minutes instead of 50 or 60.
“What is really nice is that we are creating a good team spirit. It has often been said you can get bored in Marcoussis but the opposite is the case.
“We are happy to train together, happy to share moments off the field.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta