Rugby: France ease past Italy in World Cup opener

France's Guilhem Guirado (right) dives for the line but falls just short, in an attack that eventually leads to France's first try.
France's Guilhem Guirado (right) dives for the line but falls just short, in an attack that eventually leads to France's first try.AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - France made light work of an indisciplined Italy to begin their Rugby World Cup campaign with a straightforward 32-10 Pool D victory at Twickenham on Saturday.

Second-half tries from Rabah Slimani and Nicolas Mas added gloss to the scoreline after the boot of Frederic Michalak had punished the Italians in the first half.

France made the most of Italian errors to kick five first-half penalties and take a 15-3 lead into the interval and extended their advantage to 25-3 swiftly after the restart with Slimani's try and another penalty from Michalak.

Italy rallied with a try from Giovanbattista Venditti but never looked like launching a realistic comeback and were finished off when Mas added a second try late in the game.

The result gave France a solid platform to make it out of a pool that also includes Romania, Canada and Ireland, who opened their campaign on Saturday with a crushing 50-7 victory over the Canadians.

France's next outing is against Romania in the Olympic Stadium, London on Wednesday, while Italy take on Canada at Elland Road Leeds next Saturday.