France crush Italy in Lyon to book World Cup quarter-final place

Damian Penaud celebrates a try for France v Italy at 2023 Rugby World Cup Damian Penaud scored the first try in the second minute of the match (Adam Davy/PA)

France booked their place in the Rugby World Cup knockout stage in style with a 60-7 romp over Italy, who exit the tournament.

Only a monumental defeat would have seen the hosts crash out, but that was never going to happen as Les Bleus ran in eight tries in Lyon.

Damian Penaud (2), Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Thomas Ramos all crossed the line in the first half, with Matthieu Jalibert, Peato Mauvaka and Yoram Moefana (2) adding second-half efforts as they ran riot with a record-breaking win over their opponents.

It sets up a quarter-final clash with either South Africa or Ireland and they will be dreaming of World Cup glory on their own soil.

Italy’s interest ends with a mauling, with Manuel Zuliani’s 70th-minute try finally getting them on the scoresheet, but they head home at the conclusion of their Group A campaign.

The French domination started early as Penaud crossed in the corner in just the third minute before Bielle-Biarrey side-stepped a late tackle 10 minutes later.

Then Ramos and Jalibert gave the hosts a 31-0 lead at half-time.

The onslaught continued after the break as Mauvaka rolled over from a lineout, with Moefana getting his first after collecting Penaud’s pass.

Zuliani finally got Italy on the board with 10 minutes remaining but Moefana powered through to complete the rout.

They can now sit back and wait to find out their last-eight opponents.

France v Italy - Match Highlights

France v Italy - Match Stats

France (31) 60
Try: Penaud (2', 38'), Bielle-Biarrey (13'), Ramos (22'), Jalibert (47'), Mauvaka (54'), Moefana (63', 75')
Conversion: Ramos (4', 14', 23', 39', 48', 55'), Jaminet (65')
Penalty: Ramos (7'), Jaminet (80'+1)

Italy (0) 7
Try: Zuliani (71')
Conversion: Allan (72')

Man of the match: Gregory Alldritt (France)

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