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Le 08 avril 2013


Fabien Galthie gave Montpellier a 10% chance of winning against Clermont in this ¼ final H Cup which was a fair call but for about  the first 50 minutes Montpellier tried everything they knew to break this solid wall defence that Clermont have created. It was not to be the wall held solid and after the early pressure from Montpellier began to wane, Clermont started to play and play they did, exceptional tries from players who often hit the highlights, but the longer this competition goes on it seems the better Clermont perform, if this is their year they must grab it with both hands, as opportunities do not come around that often and the prize is enormous. Montpellier nudged themselves into the lead with a couple of Paillaugue penalties but could not break down the Clermont defence, coming close is not enough and while absorbing the pressure the home side managed a couple of 1st half tries from Forfana and Rougerie, the first a clever box kick into the hallowed ground and Forfana leaped, caught and grounded the ball, this boy is good. The second, a defence splitting run from Sivivatu who jinked his way around Montpellier to hand the ball on a platter to Rougerie who had only to run in and dive under the sticks for the second Clermont try, at half time the score was Clermont 15 Montpellier 9. Montpellier lost their chef D’Orchestra Francois Trinh-Duc with an ankle injury after 27 mins which did not help the visitors, as the first Clermont try came exactly one minute later. The second half was pure Clermont with ball in hand they took on Montpellier  with fire in their hearts and scored a further 3 tries the best from Sivivatu who slit Montpellier with a run which left the defence in tatters and under the posts he went, try of the game and Man of the Match . Montpellier could not keep the rampaging home side from scoring they added tries from Byrne and of course Nalaga also got into the act and the 16th man the Clermont supporters made the noise that was needed, they must be complimented on their sportsmanship as they  applauded Thibault Privat when he was replaced and they never stopped cheering any good moves made by the visitors if only all TOP 14 supporters could follow the fine example they set., support your team by all means but applaud the opposition for their merits is not against the laws of our wonderful game. Jimmy Nagusa did save the honour for Montpellier with a fine individual try in the 80th minute. The final score of this excellent game of rugby Clermont 36 Montpellier 14.
Montpellier have nothing to be ashamed of, they tried their best and played excellent rugby for the first 50 mins. but just could not get over that try line and it has to be said Clermont were excellent, and playing in this style they are nearly untouchable... As you enter onto the pitch it reads 100 years of Clermont Rugby, Montpelier have a long way to go to equal this but they are a young side full of pride and promise and if they keep on this adventure they will eventually bring home the trophies, this is only their 2nd year in the H Cup and already a ¼ final game , there are plenty of teams who have qualified for the H Cup and never got this far, so Montpellier you may have lost this game but you have won the respect once again of many and your day will come !!!!
Steve Whittell.