Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: France 96-0 Namibia

Thibaud Flament of France scores the team's sixth try during the game against Namibia
Thibaud Flament of France scores the team's sixth try during the game against Namibia
©Photo by Pauline Ballet - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

France 96-0 Namibia, Pool A, Marseille

France are on the verge of securing the quarter-final berth in the ongoing Rugby World Cup as they scored 14 tries to beat Namibia 96-0 in their Pool A encounter in Marseille.

This was also the biggest ever win for France as Damian Penaud scored a hat-trick while Jonathan Danty, Charles Ollivon and Louis Bielle-Biarry crossed over twice. The win was hampered by an injury to their star player Antonie Dupont, who has reportedly injured his cheekbone and was taken to the hospital for scans.

It took France just five minutes to open their account as Dupont sent a kick to a corner after a line out which was collected by Penaud for the first of his tries. Thomas Ramos missed the conversion but made amends in their second try that came shortly with this Louis Bielle Biarrey sending a perfect pass for Jonathan Danty to touchdown making it 12-0.

The onslaught from the hosts continued as Matthieu Jalibert and Dupont combined to send Charles Ollivon over in the 18th minute and soon Gael Fickou sent an inside pass for Penaud to complete his second in the corner. Ramos converted both the tries as France stretched their lead to 26-0 by the start of the second quarter.

Dupont was once again instrumental in his team scoring as he collected the ball from a line out at the five-metre mark allowing Danty to power over for his second try before Anthony Jelonch picked the ball at a vacant space eventually sending Thibaud Flament over the line to make it 40-0.

As the half-time was nearing, France were relentless in their attack with this time Penaud speeding past the Namibian defence allowing Dupont to dot down and Bielle-Biarrey follows the suit after collecting a kick from Dupont for their eighth try as the home side stretched their lead to 54-0 in a dominating opening half.

Namibia thought they scored their first try early in the second half when Divan Rossouw intercepted a pass from Jalibert to score but it was turned down by the TMO as Johan Deysel was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Dupont, who left the field holding his cheek for a head injury assessment adding to the nerves of the spectators. The yellow card was later upgraded to a red card.

France could do little wrong as Dupont's replacement Baptiste Couilloud immediately made an impact with a dive in the corner and soon Penaud completed his hat-trick making it 68-0.

Bielle-Biarrey completed his second try at the start of the final quarter as he ran almost the full length of the pitch after Greyling's pass was intercepted and Ollivon covered a plenty of space before throwing a dummy to Bielle-Biarrey, allowing him to cross the line unopposed making it 82-0.

There was no respite for Namibia as Jaminet completed their 13th try and the agony continued for the visitors as France were awarded a late penalty try after a maul collapsed with Jason Benade sent to the sin-bin allowing the hosts to complete a record win.

Points Table: Pool A

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 France 3 3 0 13
2 Italy 2 2 0 10
3 New Zealand 2 1 0 5
4 Uruguay 2 0 2 0
5 Namibia 3 0 3 0

What's Next:

France's final game of the group stage will be against Italy at OL Stadium on Friday while Namibia will be facing Uruguay on Wednesday at the same venue.

Match Reactions:

France head coach Fabien Galthié is anxious about the test results on their star player Antonie Dupont.

"There's a suspicion of a crack or fracture in his jaw," Galthié said. "He's gone for tests. We'll wait for the results before moving forward. We need to take advantage of this great victory and the players' fine performance.”

Namibia head coach Allister Coetzee admitted that they were outplayed by a quality French side.

"It was a tough day at the office. I could see the first 20 minutes, they were flustered, they did things out of character, not sticking to the plan and it's just the pressure.

"We have to regroup. Our objective is still alive - to win a game at the World Cup. It's a shame we lost our captain to the red card in the 44th minute. At that stage it was just 50 points and we could have had seven [points], and that could have been the momentum we needed at that point."

Team line up:

France: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Bielle-Biarry; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Mauvaka, Atonio; Woki, Flament; Cros, Ollivon, Jelonch.

Reserves: Bourgarit, Wardi, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Couilloud, Moefana, Jaminet.

Namibia: Van der Bergh; Mouton, Deysel, Burger, Greyling; Loubser, Theron; Sethie, Van der Westhuizen, Coetzee, Tjeriko, Ludick, Katjijeko, Retief, Gaoseb.

Reserves: Nortje, Benade, Shifuka, Van Lill, Hardwick, Blaauw, Izaacs, Rossouw.