France Dominates Namibia 96-0, but Concerns Arise Over Dupont’s Injury

France Dominates Namibia 96-0, but Concerns Arise Over Dupont’s Injury

France, the host nation, continued their flawless performance at Rugby World Cup 2023 with a resounding 96-0 victory against Namibia at Stade de Marseille on Thursday.

Les Bleus showcased their superiority with an astounding 14 tries, including a remarkable hat-trick from Damian Penaud, who climbed to third place in France’s all-time tryscorers list, notching his 33rd test touchdown, trailing only Serge Blanco (38) and Vincent Clerc (34).

Reflecting on the incredible performance, Penaud modestly commented, “The tries are just a side note. We relished the game, and we’re proud of the fans who came to support us; that’s what truly matters.”

Centre Jonathan Danty and flanker Charles Ollivon added to the tally with two tries each, while Thomas Ramos demonstrated his precision by successfully converting 12 times, amassing a personal tally of 24 points.

However, the jubilation in the French camp was tempered by concern for head coach Fabien Galthié. Captain and scrum-half Antoine Dupont was compelled to exit the field early in the second half due to a head collision with Namibia’s captain, Johan Deysel, who received a red card for the incident.

Galthié expressed his apprehension, stating, “There’s a suspicion of a crack or fracture in his jaw. He’s currently undergoing tests. We’ll await the results before making any decisions. We must capitalize on this significant victory and the exceptional performance of our players.”

On a brighter note, back row Anthony Jelonch marked his return to the World Cup after a severe injury by playing 54 minutes. He remarked, “It’s an improvement compared to last week against Uruguay. I feel much better, and I was eager to get back on the field. I’ve achieved that.”

Namibia’s head coach, Allister Coetzee, acknowledged the challenging nature of the match, saying, “It was a tough day at the office. In the first 20 minutes, we appeared flustered, deviating from our game plan, which was uncharacteristic. The pressure got to us. We need to regroup. Our primary objective remains intact—to secure a victory at the World Cup. Losing our captain to a red card in the 44th minute was unfortunate. At that point, the score was just 50 points, and we could have earned seven [points], potentially shifting the momentum in our favor.”

Namibia’s vice-captain, Louis van der Westhuizen, added, “It’s undeniably a disappointing outcome for us, and the red card worked against us. We were overpowered and outperformed by a formidable French side.”

Mark Z

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