Six Nations 2023: Antoine Dupont-Romain Ntamack, the rise to power at the right time

Six Nations 2023: Antoine Dupont-Romain Ntamack, the rise to power at the right time

After a mixed start to the Tournament, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack both delivered a successful performance against Wales on Saturday.

Under the chants of the Stade de France, they enjoyed the lap of honor for a long time. Dressed in blue and red, after exchanging their shirts with the opponent, Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont took advantage of the communion with the public, after a complete match. During the victory against Wales on Saturday March 18 (41-28), the tricolor scrum half and opening half were among the most prominent Frenchmen. Two pleasing performances for the two executives of the French group, six months before the World Cup at home.

The first delivered his most successful copy of the 2023 Tournament. Untenable, it was his fabulous breakthrough that revived the Blues without giving them time to doubt after the big Welsh start. Designated best player of the match, he dictated the tempo and perfectly launched the game and the French occupation (449 meters gained, the best total in this match). By comparison, the cumulative gain at the foot of the Welsh trio Rhys Webb-Dan Biggar-Louis Rees-Zammit does not exceed his personal total (422 meters) The opener also won 66 meters ball in hand, the fourth best total of Bruises on this match.

Already excellent in England, Antoine Dupont followed up with a second strong performance. He distributed a total of 52 passes, almost half of the total of the Blues (119). In legs, he also found his preferential role of “Minister of the Interior”. He was exemplary in attacking support, on tries from Penaud, Danty and Atonio, as a defensive player. “It’s fun to play in a team like that, in conditions like that”savored the French captain, asked about his agreement with his hinge teammate, after the meeting

Back to their highest level

A welcome serenity after a mixed start to the Tournament for the two Toulousains, like the whole French collective. Not always at his best physical level on the first outings of the XV of France, Antoine Dupont had even found himself, despite himself, at the heart of questions about the management of playing time. Romain Ntamack had been dragging his side since the last autumn tour, criticisms of his level, and the eternal debates on competition with Matthieu Jalibert.

But the two friends digested and grew in power over the course of the competition. Dupont and Ntamack notably adjusted the distribution of their roles on the field during the tournament, to give new impetus to their game. “The idea was to have variety, when the opponent is less expecting what we are going to do, it is more difficult to target areas of pressure”explained number 9. “DIn the game, when we manage to put the rhythm, to win our duels, to play in the advance, it is easier for a hinge “he greeted.

Promising for the big meeting of the Mondial

An auspicious progression six months before the next big event, the World Cup at home, which they should kick off against New Zealand on September 11. Especially since they are not going to leave each other by then. “Ils both play together in a club, so they have automatisms, benchmarks that there is no need to find or find at each selection”assures Dimitri Yachvili, former scrum half and consultant France televisions. “There is a Toulouse combination too which makes these players play together and train together, which facilitates decision-making”abounded Fabien Galthié, also including the back Thomas Ramos in the mix.

A high-level end to the season indeed awaits Dupont and Ntamack with Stade Toulouse, leader of the Top 14 and qualified for the knockout stages 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 performances allow them to continue to play together”note Dimitri Yachvili.

All lights turn green. After the end of the season in club, the Toulouse doublet will approach the preparation for the World Cup with 26 international associations in hinge, a record in French rugby. Hoping to extend the series as much as possible in the fall.

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