France will need to improve their discipline and their finishing against Ireland next week but were generally satisfied to come away with a bonus-point victory against Italy.
That was the view of second row Paul Willemse after a 37-10 success over the Azzurri in the Stade de France in the opening round of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.
Les Bleus trailed after half an hour, Tommaso Menoncello’s debut try rewarding a strong start from the visitors.
But Gabin Villière’s hat-trick swung the game back France’s way and three second-half tries allowed them to pull clear.
Despite that, a total of 14 penalties conceded, including five for offside, were a cause for concern in the eyes of Willemse.
He said: “We’re quite happy with the result, even though there are a few things we need to sort out and get a bit cleaner but we’ll do that during the week. We’re happy for the first game and the first win.
“We need to finish off plays in the 22 and our discipline, we got penalised for offside a few times so we’ll need to work on that during the week.
“Italy brought it in defence, they slowed our ball down and they are really tough to play against.”
In damp conditions, handling became tricky, but France were able to use a dominant set-piece to seize control of the match.
And they were helped by the efforts of winger Villière, who crossed once on the stroke of half-time before adding a second shortly after the break.
His hat-trick score came with the clock in the red to seal the win and become the first Frenchman to score a Championship treble since Vincent Clerc against Ireland back in 2008.
And Willemse paid tribute to the effort of the Toulon man.
He added: “To score three tries in an international game is amazing so I’m really happy for him.”