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MONTPELLIER HOLD OUT FOR THE VICTORY

Jeudi 30 Janvier 2014
Montpellier were hosts to Bordeaux Begles this Saturday a very pleasant winters evening, and a crowd of just under 10,000 came out to see if their favourites could get back into the groove and winning ways. Bordeaux fielded a full XV, a very strong side who throw the ball about and have a very impressive pack, always trying to go forward, the moment they get their hands on the ball. Montpellier even with International absences and injuries selected a strong team, one that hopefully would bring home the bacon. Montpellier had a dream start from the off, the very first scrum 40mts out, the ball came out to Francois Trinh-Duc who threw a massive miss pass, Berard came through at pace and gave the perfect pass to Jimmy Nagusa who went over in the corner, the young Eric Escande missed the touch line conversion.
 
The first half Montpellier created great chances, there were great line breaks from Rene Ranger who is beginning to look dangerous every time he gets his hands on the ball, he is finding space and using his strength to great advantage. Jonnie Beattie also has a couple of good runs with the ball, it was the finishing that let the home side down, with a little luck they could have had 2 or 3 tries in the first half but it wasn’t to be. Eric Escande was on form with the boot and kept the scoreboard moving forward, but there should have been a lot more penalties given to Montpellier, the match Ref Mon. Pechambert, missed many infringements, a blatant trip by ex Montpellier, Ali Fakate that went completely unnoticed by all, bar the crowd that is, also around the ruck and mauls there was an awful lot of diving and continual offside from the visitors,  all going unnoticed, just before the break Mon Pechambert gave Escande a yellow for a blatant offside, this was probably deserved, he did that right!!! At the pause Montpellier had their noses in front 14-6.
 
The second half started with Montpellier playing with only14 on the park for the first 9 mins. (Yellow card) and Bordeaux got themselves on the score board with a try from Le Bourhis, this was converted by Bernard, 14-13 to the hosts. The next 20 mins saw an exchange of penalties the hosts having 3 against a single one from Bernard, the score moving to 23-16. Montpellier were not playing with a great amount of consistency, and the attacks were few and far between, but Francois Trinh-Duc saw an opening with a beautiful cross kick towards the Bordeaux corner flag, Rene Ranger leapt high and palmed the ball back for Berard who crashed over in the corner, the conversion was missed, but Montpellier had put light between the 2 teams, Montpellier 28 Bordeaux 16. In the last few minutes the visitors attacked the Montpellier try line and got themselves a very generous penalty try from the again disappointing Mon. Pechambert, this was converted by Saubusse and the ref blew for the end of the game, Bordeaux got themselves the defensive bonus point but the win and 4 points for Montpellier keeps their hopes alive for the final qualification. Final score Montpellier 28 Bordeaux Begles 23. 
 
Francois Trinh-Duc led his troops well as an excellent 10 and Capt, with Rene Ranger playing his best game so far for Montpellier, the backs were very solid Robert Ebersohn starting for the first time and doing himself no harm at all, Anthony Tuitavake again gave his 100%. The Pack needs more work on the training park to gain somewhere near perfection if that is possible, the line outs were poor and their scrimmaging, was not the best seen so far this season especially in the second half, but there is now a break for 2 weeks for the start of the 6 Nations and plenty of work will be done starting tomorrow with a altitude camp in the snow at Tignes before the next game on the 7th Feb against Toulouse away.
 
Interview with Robert Ebersohn, Montpellier’s South African centre
 
Steve Whittell: First start in front of your home crowd your impressions please Robert?
 
Robert Ebersohn: First the win is great in front of the home crowd and very happy to be part of it, Bordeaux are a very difficult side to play against they come up fast and there is not a lot of room to manoeuvre, but I think we did fairly ok with ball in hand caused them all sots of problems, we should have scored more but maybe that’s for another day.
 
Steve Whittell: The win was good but it could have been so much more?
 
Robert Ebersohn: In the first half we dominated and had the lions share of the ball, but when we get in the zone, mistakes are being made, we need to work on our finishing as it is costing us maybe that extra bonus point, the second half we came of the accelerator a little and we need to continue our efforts throughout the 80 mins. 
 
Steve Whittell: You did enjoy it?
 
Robert Ebersohn:  It was great I have had to wait for my opportunity for a while but the wait was worth it, every player wants to play every game but that is not possible especially in the TOP 14 which is a very challenging championship, the crowd were great, the opposition tough, and the win excellent hopefully more to come we are so close to that finished product, if we can just smooth over our finishing we should become a very good team.
 
Steve Whittell: Cheers Robert go join the boys and celebrate a good, but hard fought win.
 
FRANCOIS TRINH-DUC GETS HIS CHANCE !!!!!
 
Congratulations to Francois Trinh-Duc who received the phone call late on Saturday night, an injury to Remi Tales (Castres) and Francois was off to Paris on Sunday morning to join the French XV, and possibly a starting no.10 shirt against the Rosbifs Anglais in Paris next Saturday in the Stade de France ko. 18.00 for France’s opening match of this season 6 Nations, this could kick start his already excellent International career. We all wish him the very best in another adventure with the French XV and of course a win against the mighty foe “LES ANGLAIS”.
 
Interview & Reseme by Steve Whittell.