The winger scores the opening try of Six Nations match against France
Watch: Tommaso Menoncello scores on Italy debut
On a rainy day at the Stade de France in Paris, it was a handling error from the hosts – unsurprising in the wet conditions – in the 17th minute that gave Italy possession and the Azzurri forwards were quick to make ground in the French 22.
When the ball came out to Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi, he put in a cross-field kick to Menoncello, who plucked the ball out of the sky and dotted it down in the corner. Not bad for your first touch in international rugby!
Tommaso Menoncello scores on Italy debut – watch it here…
The 19-year-old was one of two debutants in the Italy side for their first championship fixture of 2022 and he showed delicate skills to avoid putting his foot in touch before touching down the ball for his opening Test try.
The score was referred to the TMO and footage showed that he’d narrowly avoided the white line so the try stood, which made Menoncello the youngest try-scorer in championship history for more than 50 years.
Garbisi converted to give Italy a surprise 7-3 lead given that they haven’t won a match in the championship since 2015 and are on a record run of 32 Six Nations defeats.
Still, pre-tournament favourites France capitalised on an Italian error before the half-hour mark to regain the lead. Anthony Jelonch intercepted a Stephen Varney pass following a scrappy Italian lineout and the France back-rower was able to canter over the line.
Melvyn Jaminet missed the conversion but France led 8-7 after 28 minutes and by half-time it was 18-10 to the hosts.
Jaminet and Garbisi exchanged penalties before Gabin Villiere crossed in the corner just before the break. France opted for a lineout from a penalty after exerting pressure up front and slick passing along the back-line created an overlap for the winger to score.
France are aiming to win a first Six Nations title since 2010.
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