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MONTPELLIER GIVEN A LESSON IN COLLECTIVE RUGBY…

Le 16 novembre 2020

Yes times are difficult, Covid 19 more or less running our lives, matches postponed at the last hours, (3 in all for Montpellier), training sessions in small groups not helping the preparation for actual matches, all these factors are hindering all the teams in this seasons TOP 14, but not showing a collective image or throwing everything into a game bar the kitchen sink is not an advert for success in this pro world of rugby. Montpellier was at the very least disappointing in their adventure in the Basque country vs Bayonne, a team who has not the largest budget and is not riddles with massive world class stars, but do have the club and their rugby shirt firmly in their hearts when they take to the park.

Without spectators and a deadly silence around the stadium they still played a very solid and collective game against Montpellier. Bayonne had 3 yellow cards given during the game which meant playing with 14 on the park for 30 minutswhich is a massive advantage for Montpellier but this was obviously not enough to help them bring victory back home. Montpellier had their moments but it was never enough you can’t play 10/15 minutes of intense good rugby then close your eyes and pop off for a rest it’s 40 minuts in each half and no more or no less especially away from home, a good job this was played behind closed doors, with a Basque crowd behind Bayonne urging them, on the result could have been a lot worse.

Bayonne scored their first try with a massive interception from Ravouvou after a miss pass in the centre from Serfontein and he galloped into the hallowed ground unopposed, the rest of the points in the first half came from the boot of Germain who has always been know for his ability to score from any where in that 50 meters zone, all that Montpellier could counter with was 2 penalties from Alex Lozowski to bring the half time score to 13-6 for the Basques.

The second half was much the same bar the last 20 minuts when Montpellier decided to play some decent rugby if they had started out as they finished the result could have been so much different. The boys picked themselves off the floor and had a couple of tries one for Fulgence Ouedraogo and a penalty try for some very dubious infringements from the Basques, this made the final score 29-20 look half decent but it did not reflect the true image of the game.

There are plenty of excuses that can be made Covid 19 : International duties, injuries which are abundant at this very moment etc... Losing is something in sport that happens but if you give your heart and soul into a defeat and the opposition is better on the day nothing can be said or at the least, very little, you can walk away proud knowing you have done your duty. There is a lack of aggression in the performances, plus discipline and common elementary mistakes happening far too often, we have the coaches and they are plentiful everyone needs to stand up and be counted as this sort of result has to stop quickly if the club is to continue to ascend into that TOP 6 but at the moment we are a long way from that happening.

Steve Whittell