Sat. May 25th, 2024

France maintained its pursuit of a Grand Slam in the women’s Six Nations, securing a 38-15 win against Italy at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on Sunday. With six tries to their credit, France’s dominant performance solidified their position as contenders for the coveted title.

England’s commanding 46-0 win over Scotland on Saturday placed both teams at the forefront of the competition, each having secured victories in all three matches. However, England leads the standings with an additional bonus point, setting the stage for a potential Grand Slam showdown between the two powerhouse teams.

As the tournament enters its decisive phase, the fate of the championship and the pursuit of a Grand Slam hinges on the outcomes of the upcoming matches. England is set to face Ireland at home, while France will clash with Wales in Cardiff. Should both teams emerge victorious, anticipation will mount for their pivotal encounter in the final weekend in Bordeaux.

The match also marked a significant moment for Irish referee Joy Neville, who officiated her final international game. Renowned as World Rugby’s referee of the year in 2017, Neville made history as the first female to serve on a men’s World Cup officiating panel, underscoring her trailblazing contributions to the sport.

From the onset, France asserted its dominance, particularly in the first half, showcasing a blend of skill and precision under the sunny skies of the capital. A well-executed play orchestrated by outside-half Lina Queyroi led to outside centre Nassira Konde’s opening try within the first two minutes of the game.

Despite Italy’s efforts to mount a comeback after their previous defeat to England, they struggled to contain the relentless onslaught from the French side. With only a Beatrice Rigoni penalty to show for their endeavors in the first half, Italy found themselves outmatched against the formidable French squad.

The hosts capitalized on their momentum, adding to their lead with tries from loosehead prop Annaelle Deshayes, flanker Charlotte Escudero, and left-wing Melissande Llorens. Queyroi’s precision in converting three out of four attempts further bolstered France’s commanding 26-3 lead at halftime.

While France continued to assert their dominance in the second half with tries from Tighthead Assia Khalfaouo and lock Madoussou Fall, Italy displayed resilience, matching their opponents with a 12-12 scoreline in the half. Left-wing Alyssa D’Inca’s two tries offered a glimmer of consolation for the Italian side amidst France’s relentless offensive onslaught.

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