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Le 17 octobre 2011


Friday evening saw Montpellier away to Bayonne at the Stade Jean Dauger, and in support of France’s head coach Marc Lievremont new moustache, his brother and coach of Bayonne Tomas, had decreed that all supporters wearing the moustache would get 50% off their match ticket. An excellent promotion, but after the result most of the hairy or cardboard effigies were either binned or shaven off !!!
Not one of Bayonne’s best rugby moments, apart from the first 5 mins. they were murdered upfront by a pack of Montpellier forwards who were hungry for victory, the backs were in the same form every time the ball was sent along the line, and danger was the word that went through the mind set of the home side.
There are still many errors in Montpellier’s game but they are now starting to play team rugby using the front 5 with awesome power and this was the building block on Friday evening’s game.
 The game started with Bayonne putting most of the pressure on the Montpellier try line but they defended well and apart from a Boyet penalty early on Bayonne could not get into that hallowed ground. They did manage the first try however a clever Boyet grubber kick for the following centre Visensang to go over the line into all the water bottles that were just behind the Montpellier posts, probably not the best place to put a case of water.   Montpellier did not wait long to reply, Martin Busto-Moyano, who had ran the ball from defence throughout the match slipped a couple of tackles the last one a wonderful pirouette which would have got into any ballet school, he then managed to free the ball with a brilliant pass in the final tackle and the oncoming train called Doumayrou had only to steam into the station and plant the ball firmly under the posts, Bustos added the extras. At the pause for lemons the teams were at parity 10 pts. apiece.
The second half continued with the domination from the visitors and they came close on several occasions, but also defended well when they had too. Bustos knocked over another penalty in the 50th min but the “coupe de grace” came 15 min later when Paul Bosch who had been outstanding all night in defence broke the defence line and passed to Alex Tulou who like all good No.8’s was on the centres shoulder to receive, he had a fairly easy run under the sticks, Bustos converted and Montpellier were 20-10 to the good.
Lagarde came on and added his weekly drop goal plus another Bustos penalty sealed Bayonne’s hollow evening. They did manage a late try by Pieterson in the dying minutes but even the defending bonus point was out of their grasp.
The first away success for Montpellier this season and the second victory in a row, there has been massive improvement in the last couple of weeks as the team is slowly showing signs of what we were enjoying last season, but the finished article is far from perfect, the line outs are still an immense problem and work needs to be done, next week we have the visit of TOP 14 leaders Castres and that will be no walkover.
Paul Bosch was once again outstanding especially in defence, along with Alex Tulou and Yoan Audrin, the pack worked hard, the front row were solid in the scrum and gave the backs clean and efficient ball for them to work with, Martin and the mighty Mamuka just back from the World Cup were everywhere and did their job without fuss, our two youngsters at halfback Escande and Perraux went about their job with the excitement of their ages and are real elements for the future. 
All in all a very solid display by Montpellier, but at the bottom of the page a COULD DO BETTER has to be added, but everyone has to start somewhere and hopefully Montpellier is on the move onwards and upwards.
Steve Whittell.