In search of a renewal after a last World Cup marked by internal tensions, the French women’s rugby team began the 2023 edition of the Six Nations Tournament with a difficult victory (22-12) on the lawn of Italy at the stadium Sergio Lanfranchi of Parma. Les Bleues failed to glean the offensive bonus point.
“We get to know each other over the weeks. We are happy with the resultsummarized the three-quarter center Gabrielle Vernier at the microphone of France 2 at the end of the match. We have the gift to come and lose here, so frankly there we are just relieved. »
Last September, the women’s XV of France had indeed left Biella (Piedmont) with a defeat in the suitcases (26-19) during the last preparation match for the World Cup. A competition where the Blues had as often adorned themselves with bronze, failing only one point behind the future world champions New Zealand in the semi-finals. Since then, a new cycle has begun with Gaëlle Mignot and David Ortiz as co-selectors, who were previously Thomas Darracq’s assistants.
In Parma, it was the Italians who scored the first try in front of their home crowd; thanks to the power of the third row Giada Franco, after a breakthrough by Francesca Sgorbini (7-3, 23e). Gabrielle Vernier answered him three minutes later, following a scrum largely dominated by the tricolor pack (7-8, 25e). It was then the French Carla Arbez, who celebrated her first selection as opener, who flattened behind the Italian line (7-15, 33e).
“Details to settle”
At the start of the second half, Italy came back to just three points from Les Bleues when Alyssa D’Inca scored from a corner, to reward a long transalpine streak (12-15, 48e). The narrow gap continued until the 75e minute. The timing of France full-back Caroline Boujard scoring a third try after an intense streak of pounding in midfield. The corner transformation signed Jessy Tremoulière ensured victory for the French team (12-22, 76e). But he will still miss a try to glean the offensive bonus point.
“The victory is there, it’s positive and it’s a first step. Now, we are going to analyze on video the details that need to be settled in order to be able to perform next week in Ireland.said the second line and new captain, Audrey Forlani, at the microphone of France 2 at the end of the match. “Sometimes we pass when we shouldn’t. In the rucks, we were in difficulty ”completed scrum half Pauline Bourdon.
On Saturday, the other two meetings of this first day were one-sided. In Cardiff, Wales dominated Ireland 31-5. A wide score on the scoreboard, but not as much as that of the meeting between England and Scotland, won 58-7 by the English world champions.
The Red Roses, who remain on four grand slams in the tournament, still appear as the favorites for this 2023 edition. Second in 2020, 2021 and 2022, the French hope to break their hegemony. On the second day, France will travel on Saturday 1er April in Ireland, in Cork. Scotland will host Wales and, the following day, England will host Italy.