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Le 12 novembre 2012


The weekend’s rugby started on Friday evening with a mouth watering Toulouse v Montpellier, the hosts just 2 points ahead in 3rd spot of Montpellier, both teams having players missing for International duties, but the hosts with an infirmary nearly overflowing would certainly be put to the test by Montpellier. All week the press had been writing up Montpellier giving them the once in a life time chance to beat the hosts Toulouse, but this is Toulouse even with 15 or so players unavailable there was still a team sheet to envy by all, with the names of excellent players ready to do battle for their club. The game stats showed that Montpellier had most of the possession and a majority of the ball but the result was a resounding 27-9 win for the home side. Montpellier once again showed that they are not ready to take on the very best, giving away too much ball, losing countless line outs  and generally not playing at all to their potential. Two desastourous mistakes, the first by stand in Capt Thibault Privat dropping a high ball from a restart, the ball then going through the legs of Jimmy Nagusa, and the long time injured Maxime Medard dived on the ball and slide over unopposed. The second mistake, a Jonnie Beattie sevens pass intercepted by Toulouse, the ball was sent straight out to the winger Matanavaou, who finished well in the corner.  Simple and efficient was Toulouse’s rugby and with the help of the boot of McAlister who kept the score board ticking over Toulouse were never in any great danger. Toulouse played off the mistakes made by Montpellier and never really did anything spectacular but then with so many gifts from the opposition they did not have to, far too many balls were lost in the biggest area of problems, the line out, until Montpellier keep their own ball from the touches they are going to struggle against the top teams. Patience is also something that Montpellier has to learn, their build ups never materialising into anything as options are often squandered with white line fever or just bad choices.  Sometimes a kick in the teeth does a team no harm, as long as the lesson is learnt then the boys can progress, the season is long and Montpellier are still sitting pretty in 4th place not as pretty as last week but then the TOP 14 is never going to be a walk in the park.  There are many more tough games to be played and as they always say “one game at a time.”  Just don’t make the same mistakes twice. The players are now on a weeks break and resume the Top 14 on Saturday 1st of December at home against Bayonne, a match which the coaches will have plenty of time to prepare for, but has to be no less than a home win for Montpellier if they are to continue on the path of a qualifying spot for the end of season play-offs..
Steve Whittell.