Steve's chronicle

News

THE START OF ONE MAMMOTH MONTH

Mardi 02 Avril 2013

 

Montpellier ended the month of March with a 17-30 pts away win over bottom of the TOP 14 Mont de Marsan. A team already relegated back into the Pro D2 next season, are never a walk over and many a good team have encountered difficulties at the Stade Guy Boniface in the Landes, Montpellier was no exception.
 
After racing into a 20-0 pts lead with an exceptional try by Francois Trinh-Duc who dummied and jinked his way from the half way line to dive under the posts for a classy individual try, this was quickly followed by another sterling effort finished off by Lucas Amorosino, all converted by MBM plus a couple of penalties to boot by the Argentine most thought Montpellier were heading for a 5 pointer, but that was not to be. Mont de Marsan came back with a try from close range by second row Lewaravu which was converted, plus another penalty from the boot of Vignau-Tuquet which gave the half time score: Mont de Marsan 10 Montpellier 23. Mamuka Gorgodze decided just before the break to put his hands where he should not, and the ref gave him a yellow and 10 minutes rest in the bin. 
 
The second half started with a bout of handbags, the assistant ref got involved and decided red for both hookers, and both Geli and Grobler were sent for an early shower. This goes on most weeks and a normal yellow card would have been sufficient, but Mon. Pechambert was having another of his very often, off days, power and politics can often have catastrophic results especially when sport and television becomes the innocent offender !! Montpellier managed another try after Trinh-Duc hacked a ball for a good 50 mts. Hamish Gard  on his first start for Montpellier collected and did the necessary which MBM added the extras10-30 to the visitors, always good to score on your first outing. Mont de Marsan were trying their level best to get into the faces of the Montpellier players and they were getting results, Fakate got a deserved 10mins in the bin when he stuck out a leg instead of trying to tackle in the more legal way, with only 13 on the players n the park Mont de Marsan made their advantage pay and scored through Cabannes, Vignau-Tuquet added the extras plus another penalty. Mont de Marsan tried desperately during the last 10 minutes to score but the Montpellier defence held out, and finally the ref blew for the end of the game; 
Mont de Marsan 17 Montpelier 30. 
 
The back row again played well for Montpellier with Alex Tulou and Capt Fu fu both giving excellent performances while Francois Trinh-Duc orchestrated well from 10 scoring one try and making another, Hamish Gard was another discovery in his first outing he was on the ball and tackled well in defence, plus an asset in attack, another clever medical replacement signing by Fabien Galthie. Four more points and those ends of season’s play-offs are looking good but there is still work to be done.
 
Next week Montpellier enter into a mammoth month, first Clermont next Sat. in their first ever ¼ final H Cup, a challenge which will be difficult to say the least, as Clermont have not lost at home for almost 60 games and the game is a sell out, if that is not enough the following week the French giants Stade Toulouse come to town to take on Montpellier another massive challenge for Montpellier, which could well decide the finishing positions of both teams, Montpellier will have to be at their very best as Toulouse are looking for points they lost throughout this below average season, for a team of their calibre.
 
Steve Whittell.