Rugby World Cup ‘injustice’ still taking its toll on Antoine Dupont

Colin Newboult
France captain Antoine Dupont and head coach Fabien Galthie

France captain Antoine Dupont and head coach Fabien Galthie after their defeat in the Rugby World Cup.

France captain Antoine Dupont admits that he is still coming to terms with their Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa.

Fabien Galthie’s men went into the global tournament as one of the favourites but they were ousted in the last-eight.

Les Bleus suffered a 29-28 defeat to the Springboks as they were eliminated at their home World Cup by the eventual champions.

Akin to 2019 exit

It was a similar story to 2019, which Dupont was also a part of, when they went down by one point to Wales in the quarter-finals.

“In 2019, we were also eliminated by one point while we were leading by 12 or 13 points with a quarter of an hour to go, but I never watched the match again,” he told Bros.

“With this one, I needed to. I couldn’t sleep, so I watched the match the next day. You always have an impression on the pitch but sometimes, rewatching the match, it’s different. It was to see if this feeling of injustice was real or not.”

By describing it as a potential “injustice”, Dupont was likely referring to the refereeing of Ben O’Keeffe, who was criticised by the scrum-half following the encounter.

The scrum-half did not go any further and explain whether that disappointment over the officiating lingered, but the 27-year-old did admit that the result still causes him pain.


“I will have the opportunity to win it (the World Cup) perhaps, but we have regrets over the match,” he said.

“You replay it in your head and the worse it goes, the worse it ends up going. So all you want to do is sleep and then wake up hoping that it’s just a nightmare. Unfortunately, you have to come to accept it and move on.

“When you come home in the evening, you have a taste in your mouth. That doesn’t go away. You don’t want to have that feeling again one day.

“The more you think about it, the more you delve into it, the more it hurts. Because you realize the event, from where you were.”

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