Paul Willemse calls on France to get discipline under control

Paul Willemse has warned France to cut out the indiscipline to stay in the hunt for a first Six Nations title in 10 years.

The South Africa-born lock lamented Les Bleus’ errant showing despite running in five tries to ease past Italy 35-22 in Paris.

Fabien Galthie’s France backed up their victory over England by securing another bonus-point win, fending off the spirited Azzurri at the Stade de France.

France v England – Guinness Six Nations – Stade de France
France v England – Guinness Six Nations – Stade de France

Les Bleus have not tasted Six Nations success since their 2010 Grand Slam, but have launched a youthful resurgence under Galthie and former Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.

France will now head to Cardiff to take on Wales on February 22, with Willemse admitting Galthie’s men must sharpen up, especially without the ball.

“It was definitely a bit frustrating against Italy, we got what we wanted with the bonus point so we’re happy with that,” Willemse told BBC Sport.

“But our performance, a lot of errors especially discipline wise so we’ve got to fix that as quickly as possible.

“Our previous game it wasn’t a big thing, so we definitely want to fix that as quickly as possible, it’s not normal for us to have so many penalties.

“But that will definitely be a focus in the weeks to come to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s really been a great atmosphere in our team, a lot of young guys are just starting and we’re moving forward.

“We have a plan, a road map of where we want to go.

“So we’re just getting together and starting to build our history, and that’s what we want to do now.”

Teddy Thomas, Charles Ollivon, Gregory Alldritt, Romain Ntamack and Baptiste Serin all crossed for the French, who coasted to victory despite a patchy showing.

Wasps v Harlequins – Gallagher Premiership – Ricoh Arena
Wasps v Harlequins – Gallagher Premiership – Ricoh Arena

Matteo Minozzi, Federico Zani and Mattia Bellini bagged tries for Italy, who mustered a solid fight – but still slipped to their 24th Six Nations loss in succession.

Captain Luca Bigi still maintained Italy are moving in the right direction under new coach Franco Smith, despite another frustrating defeat.

“We showed how strong we can be in attack,” he told BBC Sport.

“We never gave up and that’s a positive.

“The guys on the pitch showed great face on the pitch today.

“It was a tough week because we conceded so many turnovers at the breakdown last week.

“We conceded too many penalties in the first half even though we were better.

“We have to keep the positives from this game. It’s important that we scored at the end and we’ll keep to the positives for the Scotland game.”