French star somehow avoids red card for scandalous Antoine Dupont tackle
Pushing his luck to the brink.
Antoine Dupont is a national treasure to the French. To all rugby, in fact. He must be protected at all costs.
"It think he was a touch fortunate there, to be honest with you. Crikey!"
Not since the 2005 Lions Tour to New Zealand has a commentator under-sold a potential season-ender of a tackle.
19 minutes into Toulouse's Top 14 clash with Castres and the reigning European champions were cruising. 17-0 up after tries for Maxime Medard and Thomas Ramos, Toulouse were pressing for more.
Dupont had his hand on the attacking tiller and, as it so often is with the France scrumhalf, it is a joy to behold. As Lucas Tauzin made another strong carry, Dupont found himself on the wrong side of the breakdown.
Castres flanker Kevin Kornath took exception to the Toulouse No.9 getting in his way. Making a split decision, Kornath lifted the scrumhalf and unceremoniously dumped him to the ground. It looked, for all money, like a red card.
Toulouse lock Rory Arnold, standing nearby, could hardly believe what he had seen:
Kevin Kornath very fortunate to only see yellow for tossing Dupont here pic.twitter.com/34KXuzZIsm
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) October 23, 2021
French rugby is not always straightforward, though. Despite the fact that Dupont was effectively speared into the turf, the referee and TMO hashed it out. It was decided that, as Dupont landed on his back and not his head, a yellow card would suffice.
Seeking to put the tie to bed before the half was over, Toulouse went for the sticks, through Ramos, and went 20-0 ahead.
Dupont, the tough cookie, was able to play on after receiving an on-field check by the medics.
Antoine Dupont might be the best rugby player on the planet. Watching Toulouse is a pleasure. Such positive skilfully executed rugby is another example of how good our game can be played.
— Matt Williams (@MattRCNM) October 23, 2021
Romain Ntamack ran in Toulouse's third try after only 50 minutes and the match was all over as a contest. Two more tries saw Castres heads drop as they fell 41-0 behind with a quarter of the game to go.
The game finished that way and Toulouse, with seven wins from eight, are top of the league standings.