RUCK delivers our man-by-man ratings as France overcome Italy 32-10 in their World Cup opener at Twickenham on Saturday evening.
15. Scott Spedding…6
The full-back put in a solid shift and swept up well behind for France. Scored a trademark penalty from a ridiculous distance for three points.
15. Joann Huget…6
Not as lively as usual but sparked the nearly try for teammate Noa Nakaitaci. Unfortunately, his contribution was cut short on 55 minutes and his World Cup is now over.
13. Mathieu Bastareaud…6
The hulking forward made a couple of meaningful charges against a frightened looking Italian defence and he cleaned out Tomasso Allan in the second half. Little by way of contribution otherwise.
12. Alexandre Dumoulin…6
A relatively measured display but the centre failed to sparkle in the absence of Wesley Fofana.
11. Noa Nakaitaci…5
Almost had a moment of glory but fluffed his lines when clear through to score.
10. Frederic Michalak…7
Far from a stellar performance from the Number 10, who’s kicking continues to be hit and miss. However, his 19 points were the primary factor in France’s win and he worked hard throughout.
9. Sebastien Tillous-Borde…6
The scrum-half struggled to spark the game into life but did enough to keep his side ticking over. 6
1. Eddy Ben Arous…6
Was able to get the better of his opposite number Matias Aguero on several occasions in the scrum.
2. Guilhem Guirado…7
The big hooker made two carries across the gainline and had one clean break when he looked to have broken free towards the try line before being chopped down by a sea of blue. Hardly put a foot wrong.
3. Rabah Slimani…7
Scored an unexpected try to set France on their way. He read Michalak’s smart kick through to touch down and had an 86% tackle success rate throughout the game.
4. Pascal Pape…6
The lock secured lineout ball well and made one clean break, but did little else.
5. Yoann Maestri…6
Had a hairy moment with the TMO when it looked as if he may have played in Edoardo Gori for a try, but otherwise performed well.
6. Thierry Dusautoir…7
Marshalled his troops to victory and led by example with a physical display.
7. Damien Chouly…6
The flanker made nine big tackles and made shielded the ball well in the ruck.
8. Louis Picamoles…8
Made three carries across the gainline and ran 73 metres throughout, beating five defenders in the process. Produced a huge shove from the rear of the scrum.
15. Luke McLean…6
A far better player than his performance suggested, the full-back worked hard as usual but did not have his usual impact in either attack or defence.
14. Leonardo Sarto…5
The exciting wing was completely anonymous all night long.
13. Michele Campagnaro…6
Busier in defence than in attack, the centre made 11 vital tackles for a success rate of 100%.
12. Andrea Masi…5
Never really had the chance to make an impact and like Huget he was struck down and suffered a snapped Achilles tendon.
11. Giovanbattista Venditti…6
Brilliantly snuck in round the corner to score Italy’s obligatory consolation try.
10. Tommaso Allan…6
The young fly-half is far from the finished article and could benefit from more practice from the tee. Lively around the park though and made some try saving tackles.
9. Edoardo Gori…6
Passed well throughout and made seven penetrating runs. He was slow to dictate the pace however and faded towards the end.
1. Matias Aguero…5
Appeared utterly bemused at times by the referee and proved to be a weak link in the front row.
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini…6
A solid if unspectacular deputy to Sergio Parisse, and in no way as influential.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni…5
Italy’s leading capped man was uncharacteristically dominated out of the game by the French pack.
4. Quintin Geldenhays…6
Another who tested the referee’s patience, the lock competed well in the lineout and tackled well.
5. Josh Furno…7
His work rate can not be faulted as he made 11 tackles and three gainline carries.
6. Alessandro Zanni…6
Made five carries but twice conceded a penalty from killing the ruck and failed to secure the ball.
7. Francesco Minto…5
Won a turnover for the Azzurri but was guilty of losing possession on far too many occasions.
8. Samuel Vunisa…6
Dynamic around the pitch but oddly looked a bit lightweight and unable to affect the game like Parisse.