Consistency is the name of the game for Italy, according to captain Michele Lamaro, after his side fought hard before slipping to a 37-10 defeat at the hands of France to begin their 2022 Guinness Six Nations campaign.
Italy showed plenty of heart in Paris and led midway through the first half when 19-year-old Tommaso Menoncello brilliantly touched down from a cross-field kick to become the youngest scorer in the Championship for 55 years.
Les Bleus ultimately hit back to lead 18-10 at half-time and pulled away after the interval as Gabin Villière helped himself to a hat-trick but the passion and grit shown by the Azzurri bodes well for the rest of the Championship.
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However, skipper Lamaro is keen for his side to put together an all-round, 80-minute performance – believing that is the only way they can challenge a world-class team such as Les Bleus.
“Consistency is what changes such games like that against France, who are an awesome team,” explained Lamaro.
“They’ve created a lot, yet we were pretty good in defence, we were pretty good physically but we have to get consistency in the whole game.
“The forwards did a pretty good performance, especially on the physical side. We faced them with all we had and that’s all I can ask of the boys.
“I’m happy for that but there’s still lots of things to work on.”
Italy’s next assignment is a home match against England, a side they have never beaten and who will be a wounded animal after their own agonising 20-17 defeat to Scotland in Round 1.
READ: France target improved discipline and finishing after Italy win
Lamaro knows England will provide a tough challenge, even at the Stadio Olimpico, and says the Azzurri must learn from their build-up to the France contest.
“Obviously what we did last week to prepare for France wasn’t enough, otherwise we would have had a different result,” he added.
“Now it’s important to keep creating something where we can prepare better than last week and perform better on the field at the end.”