Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Two tries by Sebastien Chabal helped France achieve a 87-10 victory over Namibia in Toulousse on sunday evening.
With a French crowd baying for blood if the home team didn't perform, the hosts came out firing and totally demolished a Namibian team that were down to 14 men after the 19th minute.
Chabal started this match in the second row and showed what a valuable asset he is to the team with his agility and awareness of space. He took some good lineout balls as well as bashed it up well.
The first of his two tries came when France were awarded a penalty close to the line, and some quick thinking from scrumhalf Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde put in a neat crosskick for Chabal to collect and fall over the line.
The second of his tries put the first one to shame. It came from a close to 60m penalty kick attempt from the Namibian fullback Loster. The kick fell short, and France returned the ball with interest, rapidly getting up to the halfway line and creating fast second phase ball.
After swinging it wide, the big caveman received the ball well inside his own half and took off, sniping through the tiniest of gaps and showing superb acceleration that I, for one, didn't know he possessed.
Leaving the Namibian's for dead and brushing off three would be tacklers, he charged over the line for what for me is already one of the best tries of the tournament.