Antoine Dupont-Romain Ntamack, the rise at the right time

After a mixed start to the tournament, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack had successful performances against Wales on Saturday.

Under the choirs of the Stade de France, they enjoyed the lap of honor for a long time. Dressed in blue and red, after having exchanged shirts with the opponent, Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont took advantage of the communion with the public, after a complete match. During the win against Wales on Saturday 18 March (41-28), the tricolor scrum-half and half-back were among the most prominent French players. Two satisfactions for the two managers of the French group, six months before the World Cup at home.

The former delivered his most successful copy of the 2023 Tournament. Unsustainable, it was his fabulous turn that revived the Blues without giving them time to doubt after the great Welsh start. Designated best player of the match, he dictated the times and launched the game and the French occupation perfectly (449 meters gained, the best total in this match). By comparison, Welsh trio Rhys Webb-Dan Biggar-Louis Rees-Zammit’s cumulative gain in foot does not exceed his personal total (422 metres) this match.

Already excellent in England, Antoine Dupont continued with a second strong performance. He distributed a total of 52 passes, almost half of the Azzurri’s total (119). In his legs he too found his privileged role as “Minister of the Interior”. He was exemplary in offensive support, on tries from Penaud, Danty and Atonio, as a defender. “It’s fun to play in such a team, in such conditions”relished the French captain, asked about his deal with his pivotal teammate after the meeting

Go back to their top level

A welcome serenity after the start of the mixed tournament for the two Toulouse natives, like the whole French team. Not always at the maximum physical level in the first outings of the XV of France, Antoine Dupont had even found himself, in spite of himself, at the center of questions about the management of playing time: Romain Ntamack dragged him from the last autumn tour, the criticisms of his level and the eternal competition debates with Matthieu Jalibert.

But the two friends digested and grew in power over the course of the competition. Dupont and Ntamack significantly adjusted the distribution of their roles on the court during the tournament to give new momentum to their game. “The idea it was having variety, when the opponent expects less what we’re going to do, it’s more difficult to aim at pressure areas”number 9 explained. “DIn the match, when we manage to set the pace, to win our duels, to play in advance, it’s easier for a hinge”he greeted.

Promising for the big event at the Mondial

An auspicious progression six months before the next big event, the home World Cup, which is due to kick off against New Zealand on 11 September. Especially since they won’t break up at that point. “TheyThey both play together in a club, so they have automatisms, points of reference that you don’t need to find or find at each selection”assures Dimitri Yachvili, former scrum-half and consultant for France televisions. “There is also a combination of Toulouse who have these players play and train together, which facilitates the decision-making process.”added Fabien Galthié, also including full-back Thomas Ramos in the mix.

In fact, a high-level season finale awaits Dupont and Ntamack with Stade Toulouse, leaders of the Top 14 and qualified for the last 16 of the Champions Cup, where a duel against the South African Bulls awaits them. “They play in a dominant team, so everything is in place so that their performance allows them to continue playing together”observes Dimitri Yachvili.

All lights turn green. After the end of the season at the club, the Toulouse double will move closer to preparing for the World Cup with 26 international associations under wraps, a record in French rugby. Hoping to extend the series as much as possible in the fall.

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