Dupont injury mars France's record win over Namibia
MATCH REPORT: France climbed to the summit of Pool A with a comfortable 96-0 win over Namibia at Stade de Marseille on Thursday.
However, the victory was overshadowed by captain Antoine Dupont’s early exit in the second half after a nasty head-on-head clash with Namibia captain Johan Deysel, who was shown a red card for the collision.
It is certainly a big concern for the hosts as the scrumhalf did not return to the field and was replaced by Baptiste Couilloud in the 45th minute.
The No.9 – who had scored a try and produced two decisive cross-kicks – headed to the hospital with the severity of the injury yet to be confirmed.
France was good value for their win, outscoring the African nations 14 tries to nil at a packed stadium in Marseille.
France now have 13 points from their three Pool A games, three points ahead of second-placed Italy who play New Zealand in Lyon on September 29 and the French on October 6, both in Lyon as the race for the two automatic spots in the quarterfinals comes to a climax.
France raced to four tries within the opening 21 minutes.
Dupont, yet to lose a match on home soil when captaining France in 14 matches, showed his awareness with a cross-kick that Damian Penaud gathered for France’s opening try in the sixth minute.
Jonathan Danty marked his return from injury with the second try after Louis Bielle-Biarrey produced a fine inside pass, rapidly followed by Charles Ollivon finishing off a flowing counter-attack.
Penaud grabbed his second to guarantee France the desired attacking bonus point, quickly followed by Danty, who barrelled over from short range.
Thibaud Flament crossed for the home side’s sixth try after an Anthony Jelonch break from a ruck and Dupont was next over the line with Namibia left answerless to the speed and efficiency of the French.
Dupont produced his second decisive cross-kick of the match for Bielle-Biarrey, Ramos’ seventh conversion leaving it 54-0 at half-time.
But the Toulouse scrumhalf’s second period was short-lived as Deysel made head-on-head contact with him in a tackle and Dupont was forced off for a head injury assessment and the Namibia captain red-carded.
It also saw Divan Rossouw’s intercept try scrubbed from the books to rub salt into Namibia’s wounds.
Dupont’s replacement Baptiste Couilloud didn’t linger once he got on, played in for a try by Peato Mauvaka as Namibia were left with the stark realisation that they were a man down for the final 35 minutes.
Penaud grabbed his third try to match Vincent Clerc (in 2007) and Ugo Mola (1999) in scoring a hat-trick in France’s two other matches against Namibia, also at World Cups, and fellow wing Bielle-Biarrey went long-range for his second.
Melvyn Jaminet, and a late penalty try, accompanied by 12 Ramos conversions helped wrap up proceedings as the hosts extended Namibia’s World Cup losing streak to 25 games.
Man of the match: The French team was absolutely incredible and anyone could have bagged the award. However, our nod goes to Charles Ollivon. The France flank was amazing on attack scoring two tries, while his defence was just as amazing, making 13 tackles
Tries: Penaud 3, Danty 2, Ollivon 2, Flament, Dupont, Bielle-Biarrey 2, Couilloud, Jaminet, penalty try
Cons: Ramos 12
For Namibia: NONE
Yellow card: Jason Benade (Namibia, 80 – deliberate foul play)
Red card: Johan Deysel (Namibia, 45 – dangerous tackle)
France: 15 Thomas Ramos; 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Paul Boudehent, 21 Baptiste Couilloud, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet
Namibia: 15 Andre van der Berg; 14 Gerswin Mouton, 13 Johan Deysel (captain), 12 Danco Burger, 11 JC Greyling; 10 Cliven Loubser, 9 Jacques Theron; 8 Prince Gaoseb, 7 Johan Retief, 6 Max Katjijeko; 5 Adriaan Ludick, 4 Mahepisa Tjeriko; 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Desiderius Sethie
Replacements: 16 Obert Nortje, 17 Jason Benade, 18 Haitembu Shikufa, 19 PJ Van Lill, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Oela Blaauw, 22 Alcino Izaacs, 23 Divan Rossouw
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)
*Additional reporting AFP