A little light in a dark tunnel

Le 25 février 2019

After last weeks dismal performance at home to USAP, Montpellier were on the road and a very difficult encounter against top of the Championship Toulouse, who were very mediocre last season. But this season they have enlightened the TOP 14 with their speed and passion. Montpellier need this weekend to show some passion and pride as the bottom of the barrel was reached last weekend going down to a winless Perpignan who have only scored 4 points this season before this game.

The game got underway and first on the scoreboard were Montpellier, Jacques Du Plessis forcing himself over the line after good work from Jan Serfontein  0-5 for the visitors. Although Montpellier were on the scoreboard first the game was all Toulouse and they threatened the Montpellier try line often and it was only some last ditch tackling that kept them out.

Their score did come in the 23rd minute after a couple of onslaughts from the Toulouse pack near the Montpellier try line, they were awarded a penalty try after numerous faults from the Montpellier pack, there were no more scores in the first half Montpellier had enormous problems keeping Toulouse from scoring, the electric feet of Kolbe were causing allsorts of problems every time he got the ball he was dancing around the Montpellier defence, but he does that most weekends against most teams. Eventually the ref blew for halftime and the teams went to the break 7-5, to the hosts Toulouse.

The second half got under way and it was Montpellier first to score, a Benoit Paillaugue penalty brought the score to 7-8 for Montpellier and 5 mins. later he added another to creep into a 7-11 lead. This did not last too long as Holmes knocked a penalty over for Toulouse, 10-11, and from the kick off somehow the ball and the collector was missed, giving a free run for Tauzin from his own 22, he gave his pass to Pita who sent Holmes the perfect try scoring pass for an easy 7 points under the sticks 17-ll, a massive error from Montpellier who were trying their level best to keep this game alive and regain some pride. The final nail in the coffin came at the end of the game after multiple attempts to score by the Toulouse pack, a scrum on the 5mts line and eventually they got themselves over the line for their third try of the game, which was converted by Holmes. Final score Toulouse 27 Montpellier 14.

Another defeat for Montpellier which does not help their cause, the Top 6 qualification is beginning to creep away from them. There is now a total of 13pts between them and that 6th place. It was always going to be difficult to pull themselves up from their performance last week especially as they were away to top of the table Toulouse, but there were glimpses of Pride and Passion in the Montpellier game. They have a very long way to go before they hit the heady heights of last season, but this was a performance which did give some hope for the rest of the season. Now the coaches have only to iron out all the mistakes that were made, knock-ons, passes astray and some blatant missed tackles, resolve all these basic little problems and just maybe the road to redemption is still available. But lots of hard work has to be done in between matches to get th house in competitive order.

There is a public training session on Tuesday the 26th Feb at 14.00 during these school holidays please come along and see the team going through their paces.

Steve Whittell.