MARSEILLE, France, Feb 23 (Reuters) - France overpowered Italy 34-17 on Friday to end an eight-game winless streak and claim their first victory in this year’s Six Nations.
Les Bleus, who had not won a game since beating Wales in the same competition last March, prevailed thanks to tries from Paul Gabrillagues, Hugo Bonneval and Mathieu Bastareaud.
Scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud added five penalties and a conversion while replacement Francois Trinh-Duc added another conversion.
Italy scored a first-half penalty try, while Tommaso Allan’s penalty and Matteo Minozzi’s late try, converted by Carlo Canna, gave the scoreline a touch of gloss for the visitors.
France, who snatched their first win under new coach Jacques Brunel, have six points, three behind leaders Ireland and England who have played a game fewer. Italy remain pointless at the bottom of the table.
France next take on England on March 10, while Italy travel to Wales a day later.
Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis