Antoine Dupont sustained an injury, raising concerns over a possible fracture.
Damian Penaud emerged as a standout player for France, moving third in the all-time try scorers list for the nation.
The red card exacerbated Namibia’s struggles in the World Cup with their captain, Johan Deysel.
In a match that promised dominance, the French rugby team lived up to expectations by trouncing Namibia with a record 96-0 win at the Stade de Marseille during the Rugby World Cup 2023. However, celebrations were dampened due to concerns over captain Antoine Dupont’s on-field injury.
France’s On-field Performance
Les Bleus were in scintillating form as they notched up 14 tries, demonstrating their offensive capabilities. The home team’s attacking flair was evident as winger Damian Penaud settled a hat-trick, taking his position as third in France’s all-time try scorers list. His achievement now stands at 33 test touchdowns, trailing legends Serge Blanco (38) and Vincent Clerc (34).
Other significant contributions came from centre Jonathan Danty and flanker Charles Ollivon, both of whom scored two tries each. Furthermore, full-back Thomas Ramos showcased his impeccable kicking skills by successfully converting 12 tries, amassing a personal tally of 24 points.
In the midst of the team’s celebratory mood, the potential injury to their talismanic captain, Antoine Dupont, became a major concern. After a head-on collision with Namibia’s captain, Johan Deysel, Dupont had to leave the field. What first resulted in a yellow card for Deysel was later upgraded to a red upon video review, deeming the tackle dangerous.
Post-match, France’s coach Fabien Galthié expressed his concerns, stating, “Currently he’s (Dupont) in hospital being tested, there is the suspicion of a fracture to his jaw.” The results of these tests are eagerly awaited, given Dupont’s stature and importance to the French squad.
For Namibia, this match was another tough outing. Their World Cup campaign continues to be challenging, and losing their captain, Johan Deysel, to a red card only added to their woes. Commenting on the performance, Namibia’s coach, Allister Coetzee, said, “It was a tough day at the office. A little bit humiliating.”
Despite their struggles, Namibia remains determined. Their vice-captain, Louis van der Westhuizen, acknowledged the strength of the French side while emphasizing the significance of the World Cup exposure for many of his teammates.
France Sets the Bar High
France has certainly set the bar high with this victory, extending their home win streak to 17 matches. They’re now ready for their final pool game against Italy, where they will aim to maintain their unbeaten run.
Meanwhile, Namibia hopes to regroup and focus on achieving their primary World Cup objective – securing a win, as they prepare for their upcoming match against Uruguay.
With the injury to Dupont, France’s journey in the World Cup could witness a significant twist. While the nation celebrates their team’s dominant performance, all eyes will now be on the medical reports determining the severity of Dupont’s injury.