LEINSTER DID NOT NEED THE LUCK OF THE IRISH.
This is the 5th time that these two teams have met in the Euro Champions Cup, and a 15-15 draw a few years back at the footie ground La Mosson is the only positive result for Montpellier, but to be honest they have won the Champions Cup 4 times while Montpellier have reached the quarters on only one occasion, so Leinster were starting favourites by most of the press and pundits.
Montpellier had picked a strong team upfront to combat the Irish forwards, but it was the pace of the game that could be the team’s downfall as it is a step nearer to International rugby, much faster than our beloved TOP 14, and Leinster have all the experience against our boys who have a lot less.
The game started and it was all Leinster they kept possession and it was not long before they started the scoreboard ticking forward with a try from Van der Flier, the extras were missed by Bryne, already 0-5 after just 4mins, plus he added a penalty 3mins. later 0-8.
La Paille reduced the score with a penalty but that was counter acted by another try from the Irish through Frawley which gave them a 3-15 lead. La Paille added another penalty 6-15 but Montpellier had very little ball and all they could do was defend, and when they finally did get hold of the ball some very haphazard kicking from hand did not help their situation, just giving Leinster another chance to attack the Montpellier try line.
This they did with speed and precision and it was the turn of Kearney who went over into the hallowed ground, this time Bryne added the extras 6-20, the whistle went for the break with Montpellier returning to the changing room with a very uphill task in the last 40mins. hopefully words of encouragement were said at half time as the situation was fairly desperate.
The second half started and Leinster only needed one more try for the attacking bonus point (4tries in Euro rugby is all that is needed) but the first to score was Montpellier with a La Paille penalty his third and 3 out of 3, the replacements from both teams started to enter from the bench, but this did not cause any problems for Leinster, they continued to keep possession and went all out for that 4th bonus point try, which came in the 66th mins. this time it was Leavy which moved the score onto 9-28
Time was running out for Montpellier and with a mountain to climb they were never going to come back from this game especially as Leinster’s defence was watertight.
Paul Vallee came on for his first ever cap, I’m sure that Jerome a very proud father and long standing back row forward for Montpellier had a tear in this eye, there was not a lot he could do as the game was already won by Leinster.
Montpellier did get their consolation try through Gabby Ngandebe as be beat everyone with his pace to go over, the extras were missed and the score 14-28.
Leinster did not hold back and replied immediately with a try of their own after a very dubious clearance kick which gave O’brien a moreorless walk in try, the extras were added by Bryne and that was that, score 14-35 as the ref blew for full time.
A very one sided game and it was all Leinster, with the new format that really places Montpellier in a very difficult position, they need now to win all remaining 3 games with a bonus point to have any chance of qualifying for the quarters, a task nie on impossible as they have home and away Wasps and a trip to Dublin v Leinster.
This game was lost by aimless kicking from hand and some very shoddy defence, plus some very bad positioning in defence; hopefully lessons will be learned from this defeat, there was really nothing that functioned for Montpellier and they were outclassed by a team far superior who played a faster, and better defended game of rugby. Next week the boys are away to Wasps who now play in Coventry another very difficult task which may end in tears!!!