BABY BLUES COME OUT SHINING DESPITE THE LOSS.
If you did not follow Montpellier to the letter it would be of great surprise to see the team sheet for Saturday’s match in Paris v Stade Francais, 7 professional players on the sheet and the rest was made up of Montpellier’s youngsters learning their trade, with only a very small number who had already experienced TOP 14 rugby at its highest, fastest, and most physical levels. Most would say a massacre at the very least, but these Baby Blues have heart, courage and a never say die attitude they deserve their outing and PSA did not hesitate to select them.
The main reason for this option was a large number of players injured or rested for the Euro Challenge Cup final next Friday evening in London Twickenham v Leicester Tigers.
Back to the game which started with our youngsters running wild with enthusiasm and tackling like uncontrollable demons, giving Stade a hard time getting points on the board. In fact they scored two tries, Naivalu and Hall, to a penalty for Montpellier which was a great effort by our Baby Blues, plus 2 yellows for Guillamon, who should know better, and Bevia and a red for Fichten in the 36 minuts. which really did not need to happen from a player of his experience. With all that in mind the ref blew for the break the score only 15-3, a brave effort by our youngsters.
The second half got underway and first on the score board was Montpellier the score was an interception by the son Romain Macurdy (surely father Michel was a very proud dad with maybe a tear in his eye watching) he scampered around 40 minuts to go over unopposed, you could see the age of the team by their celebrations a moment Romain will remember all his career.
The game continued but it was sure and certain that having defended with 13 and then 14 for the rest of the game the fitness and shear physical efforts would probably pay the price in the closing 20mins of the game. The flood gates started to open as tries from Veainu, Arrate, Gray gave Stade the attacking bonus point and some of our youngsters started getting cramp from the pace of the game. Finally the ref blew for full time the score a heavy 32-10, but there was absolutely no embarrassment in this loss our Baby Blues gave their all and could walk of the park with pride in their hearts and heads.
The icing on the cake was not a victory, but an insight into the future of the club, all these young players will continue to grow and gain experience and in a couple more years they could be regular selections for TOP 14 rugby with their club Montpellier.
Next week is the BIG ONE, Leicester Tigers v Montpellier in the Euro Challenge Final at rugby’s Temple, Twickenham, could the boys possibly win this cup for a second time, the last was in 2016 against Roast Beef opposition Harlequins, Montpellier’s coach at the time Jake White.
The TOP 14 continues after next weeks final, and Montpellier need just 2 points from 3 games max to continue TOP 14 rugby next season, that is if Pau score a maximum 10pts in their last 2 games, one of which is v Montpellier so they have the nearly impossible to do while our task is somewhat easier but everything has to be perfect or the impossible can happen.