MARSEILLE, FRANCE, Sept. 23 — In a remarkable display of prowess, France secured its most substantial victory in Rugby World Cup history by overwhelming Namibia with a resounding 96-0 win in Marseille last Thursday. However, the elation of this triumph was dampened by a grave facial injury sustained by their captain, Antoine Dupont.
The pivotal moment came in the 45th minute when Dupont collided head-on with Namibia’s captain, Johan Deysel. The severity of the incident forced Dupont to exit the field immediately. He was promptly rushed to the hospital for a battery of scans, with coach Fabien Galthie expressing concerns about a potential jaw crack or fracture.
Dupont’s status as the preeminent player in the world further underscores the significance of his absence. His injury poses a considerable setback to France’s ambitions of clinching the tournament. The captain is likely to sit out the crucial last pool match against Italy and may even miss the quarterfinals.
Despite this setback, France displayed an overwhelming dominance against Namibia on the field. Winger Damian Penaud delivered a stellar performance, achieving a remarkable hat-trick of tries. Additionally, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Jonathan Danty, and Charles Ollivon each contributed with two tries, further solidifying France’s commanding presence.
France’s astounding victory now ranks as the seventh-highest score ever recorded in Rugby World Cup history. Meanwhile, Namibia’s loss extends their unfortunate losing streak at the tournament to a staggering 25 games.
Namibia’s coach, Allister Coetzee, candidly acknowledged the challenging circumstances, remarking, “It was a tough day at the office. A little bit humiliating. Our objective is still alive, to win a game at the World Cup.”
With a two-week respite on the horizon, France will have ample time to regroup before their next pivotal pool match against Italy scheduled for October 6.