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Montpellier takes another home five points maximum

Le 02 octobre 2017

The 6th day of this season's TOP 14 and the hosts Montpellier received Brive who were lying in the very lowly and lonely 14th place with only one bonus point to their name. Brive who have a proud record of survival over recent seasons, are in big trouble at the start of this current season with zero wins out of five games. A Sunday 12.30 kick-off, which is not great for anyone, but that’s the world of television and sponsorship and it’s the same for everyone. It certainly has an impact in the number of supporters present with 8,928 presents. The first to score were Brive with an opening penalty by Marques 0-3, but after that Montpellier took complete and utter command.

New boy on the block Jesse Mogg back after a very long layoff with multiple injuries (six months since his last appearance) was looking very hungry indeed, and wanting to mark his first selection with an excellent performance. He certainly made a great start collecting a ball out wide he chased down his wing a perfect kick ahead and his burst of speed left everyone way behind and over he went for a fine individual try, the conversion was missed by Pienaar, 5-3.

There was roughly 15 minutes of Montpellier domination before the flood gates started to open, tries by Bismarck Du Plessis, appointed Captain for this game, then Nemani Nadalo in the corner, Bismarck for his second of the day, closely followed by an interception by Nadolo, who then raced the remaining 30 odd minutes. This brought the score to 33-3 on half time, the match already won with a bonus point and still another 40 minutes to go.

The second half was for the first 20 minutes a mixture of good and bad, while Montpellier had not much to loose Brive threw caution to the wind and attacked the Montpellier line, this gave the home players an excellent exercise defending and did this very well keeping all doors firmly locked. Finally the score board started to move forward again with a penalty try after some solid work from the forwards, automatic 7 points now, conversion not needed, 40-3. Two more tries from Fulgence Ouedraogo and a gift pass from the young and promising Martin Devergie for Nems Nadalo to complete his hat trick, this time both converted by Aaron Cruden, bringing Montpellier’s total to 54 points. Brive did get a consolation try through Mignardi which was transformed by Ulgade but it was far too little too late and when the ref blew for the end the score a very heavy defeat for Brive. Montpellier 54-10 Brive.

That’s the fourth game at home this season and 4 wins with bonus points a total of 20 points which is the maximum, no one can complain about those performances. Brive did defend well and kept hold of the ball for long periods but they could not organise any form of serious attack on the Montpellier try line, as the home team defended well, and just sometimes white line fever becomes apparent and mistakes come into the game where they would not if the scores were much closer, this is a very small criticism. Jesse Mogg was named Man of the Match by the team Doc Jaques. A very good choice, but there were several players who could have won it, and good to see Davit Kubriashvili back after his long lay off.

Next week the boys are away to Stade Français in Paris, a match which needs to be won to show everyone that Montpellier are just as serious away from home as they are in Montpellier. Class act of the game happened after the final whistle, after the Lap of Honour by the players a young Montpellier supporter ask Captain Bismark Du Plessis if he had anything he could give him, Gentleman that he is, he immediately obliged and took of his playing shorts and gave them to this young and now very happy supporter, who could hardly believe what had happened, and he ran off as pleased as punch twirling this unbelievable souvenir to show all his mates and family, a great gesture by a very humble but proud Captain.

Steve Whittell.