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Le 11 décembre 2012


Montpellier were at Cardiff for this 3rd round pool game against Cardiff Blues, played in  The Cardiff Arms Park, and for the very first time Mamuka Gorgodze led the team out as acting Captain for the rested Fulgence Ouedraogo, certainly a proud moment for this great servitor of the club treading the grass of many greats who passed before him, also the club have never won an away H Cup game, would this be their day. With many injuries and a suspension Montpellier had a new look to its team but all the same there was strength in depth in most of the positions, just one or two of the players needed maybe some more game time, as per normal H Cup is that little faster than the TOP 14.
The first half was strewn with penalties for both teams, a red card for Williams for a ridiculous spear tackle on Benoit Paillaugue who very luckily did not sustain any injury and an excellent try by winger Audrin after good pressure from the forwards who made the ground, and gave enough space for the ball to go through several hands before Audrin dived over in the corner. The first 40 mins. was also a penalty kicking competition with Patchell their young 19 year old Cardiff no.10 slotting 4 and a drop goal while Benoit Paillaugue retaliated with 4 penalties from his boot, leaving both teams at the break with only a point difference in the score 18-19.
The second half saw more penalties from both sides but the try scoring pressure was all coming from Montpellier, Capt. Fantastique, Mamuka sent a forward pass with the line begging for Audrin but the ref saw the infringement and called the visitors back for a scrum. This was not to be a problem for the Frenchies as they persevered and after more good forward play Mamuka Gorgodze got himself on the scoreboard with a real grunt and groan try from the boys up front, one of the most amusing things to see was Mamuka the Pacifier, who took his role as captain most seriously chatting and often informing the Ref of his duties, a little change around from last week when he was at the end of the Ref’s finger for handbags and thuggery in general, + a yellow, well played Mamuka!!!! Jimmy Nagusa came on in the second half and was straight away in the action and it was not long before he got himself on the score board a good effort with the ball passing through many hands before he went over near the corner, while all this was going on Patchell tried his very best to keep Cardiff in touch with another 3 penalties, giving him the honour of scoring all Cardiff’s points a bright young future awaits for this youngster. The ref finally blew for the end of the game with Montpellier coming out winners 24-35.
The very first away win for Montpellier in the H Cup and an excellent performance it was, with an infirmary bursting at the seams the team went and did a superb job, there were mistakes and many silly penalties given away, but the result was there for all to see, “Rome was not built in a day” but Montpellier have found themselves a base to built on and they are progressing with pride and professionalism, probably a lot has to be credited to Fabien Galthie who masterminds most of Montpellier’s operations. Drikus Hancke has once again to be complemented as this is the second week on the trot that he steals a line out ball of his own 5 mts. line when all around him trouble was waiting to happen!!! Thanks Drikus.
Next Saturday Montpellier is at home in the H Cup 4th round pool game against the same Cardiff ko.19.00 another 4/5 points maybe, who knows!!!
Steve Whittell.