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Le 24 octobre 2011


While our Montpellerian’s Francois Trinh-Duc and Fulgence Ouedraogo, were just about to go to bed before playing the biggest match of their lives the next day in Auckland, The Rugby World Cup Final, Montpellier were taking on TOP 14 leaders Castres. The visitors had only one defeat to their name this season and that was the first game of the season away to Perpignan, so they came looking for points.
Montpellier got off to a brilliant start with an up and under by the young Perraux, this was collected by the forwards who drove the Mighty Mamuka Gorgodze over the line into the hallowed ground the extras were added by Paillaugue, 2 mins gone and Montpellier were 7pts. in front. 
Castres had come with a game plan which was not to score tries, but using their powerful pack, try and find infringements around the scrum and mauls, this they did with a professionalism that nobody could fault even the referee was so impressed he was seeing things that no one else could see. Numerous penalties were whistled and Kockott their South African scrum half from Castres kicked in all, 7 out of a possible 9, with their goal kicking machine Romain Teulet sidelined Castres need not worry, they have an excellent replacement in Kockott.
Montpellier tried everything in the book to gain access to the visitors try line but those mistakes were there and so many, they came  close to scoring but the last pass was forward, or the ultimate knock on, foiled our Blue and Whites, in the last 10 mins. they had pitched their tents on the Castres try line but to no avail there was no way through. 
Montpellier’s biggest problem at the moment is the penalties that they donate in their own half, countless times offside, playing the ball on the ground, coming in from the side at the rucks just to mention a few and when you have opposite, a crack shot goal kicker like Kockott, not good news. Montpellier gave their all in this match and was unlucky not to come away with the victory, but those immense words “IF ONLY” was always on the tip of the tongues!!!
We have to cut out the mistakes but continue playing in the same vein, the rugby is good, fast and precise, take away these continual errors and the points will start to arrive.
Final score Montpellier 16 Castres 21, the honour was saved with the defence bonus point but we could have had so much more.
Montpellier go into the end of this month and the next month of November with 2 away matches the first against Agen, then Lyon, before they take on the European Champions Leinster in Montpelliers first ever adventure into the H Cup, this game will be played at La Mosson, Montpellier’s 1st division football ground, so there is ample to look forward too in the next few weeks.
Steve Whittell.