Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: France 60-7 Italy

Damian Penaud of France celebrates scoring his team's fourth try with teammate Louis Bielle-Biarrey during the game against Italy
Damian Penaud of France celebrates scoring his team's fourth try with teammate Louis Bielle-Biarrey during the game against Italy
©Photo by Michael Steele - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

France 60-7 Italy, Pool A, Lyon

France have sealed the top place in Pool A as they trounced Italy 60-7 in the final game of the group stage in Lyon on Friday.

The bonus point victory has taken them past the All Blacks to the top of the group as they face runners up from Pool B - South Africa, Ireland or Scotland in the quarter-finals on 15th October.

Meanwhile, Italy's campaign comes to an end with 10 points from four games with their only defeats in the competition coming against New Zealand and hosts France.

France were without their injured captain Antonie Dupont, who underwent a surgery following a cheekbone fracture. He is set to seek a specialist advice on Monday to deem his availability for the quarter-final though he was present in the ground today watching his team-mates dominate Italy.

It took France just two minutes to open their account as Thomas Ramos offloaded for Damian Penaud, who dived in the corner. Ramos then followed with a conversion and a penalty goal to extend France's lead to 10-0 in the first six minutes.

The dominance from France continued as Penaud was once again in the thick of action setting up Louis Bielle Biarrey over the line in the 13th minute and shortly the winger combined with Gael Fickou to send Ramos over the line as the hosts scored 24 unanswered points by the start of the second quarter.

Around the half-hour mark, Italy fullback Ange Capuozzo left the field for a Head Injury Assessment with Lorenzo Pani replacing him. Italy thought they got their first points when Simone Ferrari went over but the TMO ruled it out following a high tackle from the prop on Maxime Lucu.

Just at the brink of half time, Penaud completed his second and sixth of the tournament to drive France to a 31-0 lead by the end of the opening half.

France continued from where they left in the second half as Matthieu Jalibert dummied a pass to breach the Italian defence and go through and in the 53rd minute hooker Peato Mauvaka also went over the line following a line out. Ramos kicked both the conversions as the Les Bleus extended their lead to 45-0.

Italy showed brief resistance which eventually wore off as France breached the 50-point mark as Yoram Moefana dotted down after collecting a pass from Penaud in the 61st minute before Manuel Zuliani crossed for Italy and Tommaso Allan converted to make it 52-7.

With five minutes left in the game, Jalibert set up for his second try and soon Italy conceded their 15th penalty in the game which Jaminet converted in the closing stage to seal the biggest win for France against Italy and a statement of intent as they head into the quarter-finals.

Team line up:

France: Thomas Ramos, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Matthieu Jalibert, Maxime Lucu; Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, Thibaud Flament, Anthony Jelonch, Charles Ollivon (c), Grégory Alldritt.

Reserves: Pierre Bourgarit, Reda Wardi, Dorian Aldegheri, Romain Taofifenua, François Cros, Baptiste Couilloud, Yoram Moefana, Melvyn Jaminet

Italy Ange Capuozzo, Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Paolo Garbisi, Montanna Ioane, Tommaso Allan, Stephen Varney; Simone Ferrari, Hame Faiva, Pietro Ceccarelli, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (c), Lorenzo Cannone.

Reserves: Marco Manfredi, Federico Zani, Marco Riccioni, David Sisi, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Fusco, Luca Morisi, Lorenzo Pani.