A GAME OF TWO HALVES
Another tough game at Brive this weekend, one of the hardest home games to play as Brive never say die and never stop fighting till the bitter end. They don’t play the best rugby but what they do is hard, competitive, and usually very physical. With all the commotions going on at the club and the much improved performance last week under new coach PSA, everyone was waiting for the explosion that the rugby world was talking about, when Montpellier start winning again.
The first 40 minuts gave everyone the idea that this was a much improved Montpellier, they were aggressive and physical, something we have not seen in the last few weeks and were the first to put points on the board, a couple of penalties from Bouthier, then an opportunist try by Vincent in the 14 minut the extras added, a drop goal from the very same Bouthier saw Montpellier have a 0-19 lead at half time. Dreams come true sometimes and all they had to do was secure the game in the last 40 minuts to have an excellent away win.
The boys came out for the second half, still playing against 14 as Thompson-Stringer had infringed and got 10 minuts in the bin just before half time. Compliments must have been given at half time by PSA but what happened in the last 40 was unbelievable. Brive came out a different team and put Montpellier under the cosh, they played how they usually played at home with their dominant forwards moving in unison down the park. They kicked their penalties (3 in all) and made Montpellier defend for much of the second half. Montpellier did not help their quest as their discipline did not help, 3 yellows were given by the referee, Haouas, Reinach then finally Van Rensburg that is 30 minuts playing with 14 on the park, this is not possible in TOP 14 rugby especially if you want to win. Brive managed 2 tries Lebos and in the final minute Acquier both converted giving Brive the lead 23-22 with about a minute to go in the game. Montpellier could not respond and when the final whistle went, Brive were the very happy bunnies and Montpellier were covered with deception.
Not really sure how they lost a 0-19 points lead in 40 minuts but they did, scoring only 1 penalty in the second half. Moral was low, but last week there was some light shinning at the end of the tunnel but after this performance it is going to take barrow loads of hard work and some very positive rethinking how to get out of this very delicate position. Montpellier are lying 13th out of 14 in the championship and very strange position for the boys to be in but they are, and need some magical touch from someone to get themselves out of it.