Top 14 – Author of an XXL performance with Toulouse, Antoine Dupont delighted and showed that he was missing from the French XV

So you can have one of the most common names in France and be a truly unique player. Saturday evening, under the eyes of the Ernest-Wallon public, Antoine Dupont reminded everyone why he was so special. And why he was still one of the best players on the rugby planet. The Stade Toulousain player, who is not participating in the 2024 Six Nations Tournament to try out the “Sevens” with a view to the Paris Olympics next summer, splashed all his class in the meeting between Toulouse and Bayonne.

Author of a try and three assists, each one more beautiful than the other, Dupont, who held the number 10 position this Saturday, hovered over a long-undecided meeting between two teams who sometimes played out of order. In charge of the animation, despite this unusual position of fly-half, “Toto” did not take very long to stand out against the Bayonnais. After 20 minutes of play, he scored a try, his third in as many matches, taking advantage of an open gap in midfield after a ruck. What followed was just a long recital from the best player in the world 2021.

A recital until the end

From a gem of chistera on Pita Ahki’s try, to a precise cross for the bonus try in the 81st minute, including a 15m pass on a step to shift Pierre-Louis Barassi, Antoine Dupont to the wing did everything. And remembered why he was truly an extraordinary player.

We knew we had this last cartridge left to get the bonus“, said the Stade player about the last try scored after a 60m breakthrough on his part and a cross to the foot perfectly given to Juan Cruz Mallia. “I have a gap that opens and we know that in the 80th when a team is broken by 60 meters it’s complicated“, he continued. “Then, all that was left was to finish the shot“. More than that, yes. A formality for him but a wonder for ordinary mortals.

Antoine Dupont, author of a small festival in the first period against Bayonne in the Top 14.

Credit: Getty Images

Always in good shape, the first detonator of his team, the number 10 of the evening carried his team on his strong shoulders until the last minute of play, to allow them to climb onto the podium of the Top 14. For the greatest pleasure of his coach, who did not hesitate to joke about the situation of his scrum half, usually with the Blues of the XV at this time of the year. “Antoine, he has a bit of waste, but in the match he is not too bad“, began Ugo Mola, with a smile on his face. “For a young guy who plays doubles, I hope he won’t be there too long with us and that at some point he can play a little higher“, continued the Toulouse manager.

While waiting to meet the men of Galthié in a few months, and after this XXL performance in the form of a goodbye gift for his club which he will leave for a few weeks, Antoine Dupont is now turned towards the French rugby team. 7 with whom he will play his first international tournaments this month in Vancouver and Los Angeles. “There’s a lot of excitement, a little worry too” he admitted about this project that awaits him. “But it’s a challenge that’s super motivating. I’m going to go there with a studious outfit to learn initially, but also to perform very quickly“.

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But I’m not worried about the guys, they’re a group with character and ambition and I’m sure they will raise their heads in the next game in Scotland“, concluded Antoine Dupont. A match that the 27-year-old from Gers will watch again from his sofa. To the great regret of rugby fans who will have appreciated the beautiful score proposed by maestro Dupont on Saturday evening in Toulouse. And who are waiting already the next one, in the pink city or elsewhere.


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