Les Bleues lose in Italy a month before World Cup
The women’s XV of France, which had trounced Italy but without dazzling last Saturday in Nice (21-0), succumbed on Friday (26-19) against these same opponents, a more than frightening outcome less than a month of the World Cup in New Zealand (October 8-November 12). (October 8-November 12). It is the first victory for the Italians over the Tricolors since March 17, 2019, and success (31-12) in Padua in the Six Nations Tournament.
Thunderbolt in the small village stadium of Biella, in Piedmont, and under a gorgeous sun: the Blue, for their last training match before the World Cup, first of all, dominated the meeting before being reassembled in scoring by the Italians, then reacted but in vain. A defeat that stains before the revelation this Sunday of the list of 32 players that will fly to Auckland on September 22.
For this second meeting with Italy, the 6th nation in the world, the coach-coach Thomas Darracq had made five changes, plunging into the deep end an unprecedented hinge consisting of the inexperienced opener Lina Queyroi and the seasoned scrum half. Pauline Bourdon. In the absence of Gaëlle Hermet, wounded in a knee, the hooker Agathe Sochat took on the position of captain.
At the first two French tries, signed Madoussou Fall (8th), in force and between the posts, and Romane Ménager (30th) for her 50th selection, the Italians, without being impressed, responded with hooker Melissa Bettoni (35th), designated captain in the absence of Manuela Furlan, affected in the cruciate ligaments of the right knee at the end of the meeting in Nice, then by the center Michela Silleri just before the break (12-14, 38th) (12-14, 38th).
Returning from the locker room, continuing their momentum, the Italians scored a third try by the back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, seizing the advantage for the first time (19-14, 45th) (19-14, 45th). Finally replying, owing in particular to the superb entry into play of Jessy Trémoulière, the French managed to level, thanks to their winger Melissande Llorens (19-19, 68th), before the referee gave a penalty try (75th ), and victory, to Italy.