FIRSTLY AGRESSION THEN DISAPPOINTMENT
FIRSTLY AGRESSION THEN DISAPPOINTMENT.
The visitors this weekend were Bordeaux, a team coached by Mon Christophe Urios who has this incredible knack of getting the very best out of his players and a very much never give up and die attitude, once again the game would be played in front of an empty stadium as the Covid rules still apply, in my humble opinion this takes away completely the home advantage and the games are moreorless played on neutral ground.
With more and more injuries Montpellier were forced to introduce into TOP 14 rugby the young Louis Foursans- Bourdette for his first ever game with the Big Boys. He is a local boy who played his rugby in Nimes at the lower levels before joining Montpellier’s academy last year, even if the most senior players gave him advice and encouragement he would still have a few nerves and jitters pre match.
The game got underway and it was new boy on the block, Forsans-Bourdette who knocked over 2 penalties to give Montpellier a 6-0 lead and bundles of confidence, this unfortunately did not last long as the reply from Bordeaux and Luca was the same, and the score even at 6-6. However Montpellier was the most aggressive in the first half and were probably unlucky not to score the first try, only some very good defending from Bordeaux kept them out.
We have not seen the old Montpellier for a while, aggression up front and the forwards with ball retention going forward but it was pleasant to see. The one disappointment was the line outs where balls were missed and possession lost, this needs some attention before the next game. When the whistle went for half time the scores were even at 9-9, the first 40 being played between the two 25mts lines with some play on the Bordeaux 5mts. and try line.
When the second half started, this was a game that could go either way and Montpellier needed to come out fighting to get on top of the game and make sure the win was for them.
The first try was scored by Montpellier’s International prop forward Mohamed Haouas after some good work from the forwards, Forsans- Bourdette added the extras and a mini break was created 16-9. This needed to progress as Bordeaux were not out of this game by a long way.
Lozowski came on for the young Forsans-Bourdette who would have had a standing ovation for his efforts if the Stadium was not an empty vessel, Lozowski added a penalty at his first attempt to advance the score to 19-9, but this was not going to last very long.
Bordeaux attacked down their wing and a neat pass gave Kitwanga his very first TOP 14 try on his first appearance, Lucu added the extras and the score was 19-16, Lozowski, added another penalty for Montpellier to keep their noses in front at 22-16.
With just 4mins on the clock Rattez got himself a yellow card leaving Montpellier down to 14 for the rest of the match, Bordeaux took advantage of the situation and attacked with venom attack after attack and finally Bordeaux scored their second try of the game, a bad clearance kick and the ball came to Ben Lam son of the famous Pat Lam, now head coach at Bristol in the Premiership, he waltzed around 3 defenders and scored, the extras were added by Luca and that 7 points. gave the lead to Bordeaux 22-23.
Once again Montpellier lost their 3rd game this season in the dying minutes, games last 80 plus minutes, the boys need their concentration to last the same amount of time, the try could have been stopped but the defenders did not make the final efforts to get over the line to win this game, this demonstrates that a massive lesson must be learned from these mistakes especially near the end of the game when the concentration goes awol.
All concerned will be very frustrated by the second home defeat of this season, with 3 games already cancelled by Covid, Montpellier could finish playing mid week and when you start looking desperately for point’s things can go wrong, the club is not in trouble just yet but if this continues you can say bye-bye to Champions Cup next season