France captain Antoine Dupont shifted into the fly-half jersey for Toulouse this past weekend, producing a magnificent performance to defeat Clermont.
The result cemented Toulouse’s place at the summit of the Top 14 standings, where they have a seven-point buffer over Stade Francais.
Dupont shines at fly-half
With Thomas Ramos serving his ban for headbutting in the Champions Cup and Romain Ntamack rested with the Six Nations around the corner, Dupont donned the number 10 jersey for Toulouse, and unsurprisingly, he thrived.
The 26-year-old is no stranger to the role, having moved into the position in the latter stages of matches for France and Toulouse while also featuring in the role for Castres.
However, Sunday’s match was just his fifth career start in the 10 jersey.
Clermont took an early three-point lead through Jules Plisson, but it didn’t take long for Toulouse to strike back, with Dupont producing a bit of magic.
Alexandre Roumat tore through the defence after collecting a neat offload from Richie Arnold. Roumat found Dupont in support, who rolled back to his feet after being taken to the ground – but was not held – before offloading to Los Pumas back Juan Cruz Mallia to score.
A simple lineout move saw Sofiane Guitoune barge through the defence and link up with Pierre-Louis Barassi, who passed the ball back to his centre partner to score, giving Toulouse a 12-6 lead.
Toulouse headed into the break with a 18-6 lead and extended out to a 23-6 when a bullet pass from Dupont gave Guitoune plenty of time to send Melvyn Jaminet over for a try.
Scrum-half Paul Graou ran an excellent support line to grab Toulouse’s fourth try in the 50th minute, with the game all but wrapped up by that stage.
Tomas Lavanini scored a consolation try for Clermont as the game ended 32-13.
Watch Dupont’s full match highlights below.
His performance against Clermont was lauded on Twitter during the match, with popular account @BoucherieOvalie tweeting that Dupont could start at fly-half for France if he wished, usurping Ntamack and Jalibert from the role.
“Dupont watches Jalibert and Ntamack go to war with a little smirk and knowing that if he decides tomorrow he is the 10 at the World Cup.” the translated tweet reads.
Another tweet read: ‘This Dupont at 10 experiment is working…quite well…’
Rugby Inside Line added: ‘Having completed scrum half, Antoine Dupont looks to have completed fly half in just a week.
Tighthead prop next week?’
The win will give Toulouse plenty of confidence for the new year with a visit to title contenders La Rochelle on Saturday before their Champions Cup fixtures against Sale Sharks (away) and Munster (home).
READ MORE: Dan Biggar: Wales fly-half believes more players will join Top 14 clubs from the Premiership
The article WATCH: Antoine Dupont stars at fly-half for Toulouse in historic Top 14 win over Clermont appeared first on Planetrugby.com.