Toulouse came into the game against Bath guaranteed a playoff spot and would have wanted to close off the pool stages with a bang. They managed to beat the Premiership club scoring three tries, with a fourth try securing them a playoff game against Leinster at the RDS while a loss sending them to England to face Saracens. Their win sees them face fellow Top 14 outfit Racing 92.
It was another stellar performance from Antoine Dupont that inspired the French club to their victory and his man of the match accolade was just the cherry on top.
Probably a good shout for Antoine Dupont to add a separate room in his house for all of these awards. https://t.co/JZ4eKJrkF8— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) January 20, 2019
The nippy halfback has been in inspired form recently and put in a memorable performance against Leinster earlier this season. His performances has put pressure on the likes of Baptiste Serin and Morgan Parra for the starting Six Nations jersey.
Only just 22 years old, the scrumhalf has made the Toulouse No.9 jersey own and his performance against Bath was just proof of that. He began the game with some venom with a good sniping run that gave Toulouse quick front foot ball. This piece of play ended up with the first try of the that came through an open play maul being set up 5m out. He continued to make nippy runs and gave Bath plenty of problems throughout the first half.
However, it was his clever thinking near the try line in the 32nd minute that proved his pedigree. Yoann Huget found himself stranded down the tramlines and through a hail mary pass back inside. Bath attempted to pounce on the loose ball but then it was the scrumhalf who quickly reacted to grubber kick the ball through.
He then managed the switch to flyhalf in the later stages of the game as Sebastien Bezy took on the field. Even there he did well to dictate play and showed a cool head when Toulouse found themselves in trouble on their 5m line.
Serin started for France during the November Internationals but looks set to take a back seat during the Six Nations with Parra set to start with his clubmate Camille Lopez. However, Dupont's recent form and success with Toulouse can't be ignored. His ability to play 9 and 10 should see him start from the bench but don't be shocked to see his name in the starting line up if there is even the slightest sign of a dip in form from whoever starts for France.
On the other hand, Jacques Brunel could 'gamble' on the young halfback following a disappointing November that saw them lose to both South Africa and Fiji. With the World Cup just around the corner, getting Dupont and other inform Toulouse stars some test level experience could be key to France's success.
France is spoilt with choice at scrumhalf at the moment with all three halfbacks mentioned in fine form. Dupont is arguably the more attacking option for the national side, who have struggled recently to score tries. His tactical kicking game is probably not as sharp as the likes of Serin and Parra but it is of test quality.
One of Dupont's best attributes his support lines with a number of his tries scored this season comming from his ability to get on the shoulder of the ball carrier and finish off tries while he has developed a brilliant offloading game.