Dan Carter, Johnny Sexton and now Antoine Dupont, what do all three have in common? Well firstly they are all generational talents who have and continue to surpass what many thought possible of a rugby player at the highest level.
Unfortunately for all three and many other stars they have been on the receiving end of a number of later, illegal and reckless hits over the years.
Whilst player targeting is a strategy as old as time, removing the opposition’s most dangerous playmakers makes all the sense in the world.
This does however lead to a conundrum for rugby fans who appreciate seeing excellence on the field of play.
Dupont is clearly one of the best players currently in the game and is central to everything Toulouse and France hope to accomplish in the coming years.
Clearly able to hold his own in the physical exchanges, opposition defences have to account for Dupont at all times.
Round eight of the French Top14 saw Dupont’s Toulouse take on fellow league heavyweights La Rochelle in a crucial top of the table clash.
Toulouse would triumph 26 – 17 as they stretched out to a nine point buffer a top of the table.
It would be an incident from La Rochelle that would offer up the biggest talking point post-match however as their prop Reda Wardi was shown a red card just twelve minutes in for a ludicrous hit on Dupont.
Showing little technique and certainly no care, Wardi’s red card will have left La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara seething. Whilst also annoying French fans who know just how important Dupont is to their chances this November.
Carton rouge for La Rochelle prop Reda Wardi for this high tackle on Toulouse’s Antoine Dupont.
Toulouse go 6-0 up after 13 mins of this huge Top 14 clash. pic.twitter.com/nHJjWtMSPx
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) October 23, 2022