15. Andrea Masi – 6
Missed several tackles including one which allowed Julien Malzeu’s try, but looked dangerous counter attacking, breaking the gain line consistently.
14. Giovanbattisa Venditti – 5
Did not see much of the ball in a difficult debut, went on one powerful run but was otherwise absent for a lot of the game. Looked unsure in defence and will be eager to show what he has to offer next week against England.
13. Tommaso Benvenuti – 5
Failed to trouble the French defence and like most of the Italian backs, did not tackle with the ferocity required of international rugby.
12. Alberto Sgarbi – 5
Tried to make passes which were not on and was lucky to not be intercepted a couple of times. Did well to prevent the physical Wesley Fofana from running riot against the poor tackling of the Italian backs.
11. Luke McLean – 6
Probably the best Italian back on the day and was successful in making several breaks, including one which was unlucky to not end as a try.
10. Kris Burton – 5
A mediocre performance from the fly-half, kicking was often wayward and lacked the spark to ignite the pace and power of the Italian backs.
9. Eduardo Gori – 6
Used the ball quickly thanks to good work by the forwards, but lacked any variety in terms of running around the fringes and did not pose much of a threat.
1 .Andrea Lo Cicero – 6
Strong scrummaging performance in general for the veteran prop although he was at fault for the lost scrum which resulted in Malzeu’s try.
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini – 8
Easily Italy’s best player on the day, the hooker was a force in the loose and was almost immaculate at the line-out.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni – 7
Effective as ever in the scrum, and despite not making any significant breaks in the loose, he was a consistently good for a yard or two every time he got hold of the ball.
4. Quintin Geldenhuys – 6
Looked good in the line-out and at the breakdown in the first half, the second row was then yellow carded late in the game for pulling down a maul which could well have led to a try.
5. Cornelius Van Zyl – 7
Proved a reliable target at the line-out and even stole possession on a couple of French line-outs.
6. Alessandro Zanni – 5
Had a difficult time against the French back row and looked slightly out of his depth, arguably the one weak link in a good performance from the Italian forwards.
7. Robert Barbieri – 6
He was effective at the breakdown and was able to slow the French ball on several occasions. Failed to be a dominant force with the ball in hand.
8. Sergio Parisse – 7
Did not put a foot wrong all game, but couldn’t take hold of the game as he so often does for club and country. He was excellent in providing quick ball for the Italian backs.
No one managed to make a significant impact, although Tobias Botes showed some attacking incision and was unlucky to see his offload just miss the outstretched hands of his support runner for what would have been a try under the posts.