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Paolo Garbisi apologises for missing the late chance to make history for Italy

By PA
LILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 25: Paolo Garbisi of Italy looks dejected after missing a last minute, match winning penalty during the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between France and Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy on February 25, 2024 in Lille, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Paolo Garbisi apologised for missing the injury-time penalty that denied Italy a slice of Guinness Six Nations history in France.

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The scores were level at 13-13 when Garbisi stepped up from 38 metres, with Italy a successful kick away from their first Six Nations Championship away win against Les Bleus.

There was added drama as the ball toppled off its tee and, with just a few seconds left on the shot clock after it had been replaced, Garbisi rushed his kick and struck the right-hand post.

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France 7s Captain Paulin Riva Dupont joining the 7s squad

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France 7s Captain Paulin Riva Dupont joining the 7s squad

“I was thinking about trusting my process really, it’s part of my job to put the kick over,” said Toulon fly-half Garbisi.

“I take full responsibility for that and I’m sorry for the team because I thought they were amazing.

“Also for all the Italian supporters, that’s my bad, and I will work on it.”

Fixture
Six Nations
France
13 - 13
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Italy
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Italy had lost 45 of their previous 48 games against France with their only victory on French soil coming in 1997, three years before joining the Championship.

The Azzurri had also won only once in 44 Championship attempts, away to Wales in 2022.

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Italy were forced to defend for long periods in the first half but only trailed 10-0 when France centre Jonathan Danty was dismissed for making head-to-head contact in tackling Ignacio Brex.

Danty’s yellow card on the stroke of half-time was upgraded to red during the interval by the bunker review system.

In the second half, Garbisi cut a 13-3 deficit with a penalty before his touchline conversion levelled matters after full-back Ange Capuozzo ended a fine Azzurri move.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
0.7
10
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Avg. Points Scored
2.6
5
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Garbisi said: “The performance was good overall. If you get to 13-13 in the last minute with France, I think you’ve done pretty well.

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“The extra man helped us in the second half. First half we spent too much time in our half, because with the possession we were not that great.

“Second half with one more man we could attack more and find space, but it all comes down to the last kick really.”

While Italy remain bottom of the table, level on three points with Wales but with an inferior points difference, France stay fourth, nine points behind runaway leaders Ireland.

France’s underwhelming championship has seen them routed at home by Ireland and claiming a narrow victory over Scotland after a controversial decision not to award the hosts a try in the last action of the match.

“We were probably overplaying a little bit at the end of the game and took one too many risks and gave a penalty away,” France defence coach Shaun Edwards told ITV.

“Fortunately he missed the kick but we’re disappointed with the draw. We expected to beat Italy here.

“We had all the ball in the first half, total domination of territory and possession.

“The second half was almost the total opposite. To concede 13 points with 14 players is not too bad, but we’re disappointed we didn’t get the win.”

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Poorfour 11 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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