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Le 10 mars 2011


Just 6 games to go before the playoffs and qualification for next seasons H Cup, the countdown begins this Saturday afternoon against La Rochelle, newly promoted this season from the Pro D2.  Montpellier are well positioned in 4th place with 56pts but still have plenty of hard work ahead of them if they are going to clinch that all important qualification in next seasons H Cup and secure a TOP 14 playoff place. 
La Rochelle are fighting for their very survival in the Elite and will be going all out to take maximum points from Montpellier, but they have not won a game since the first week of this year which was against Bourgoin, however they have collected a few defensive bonus points against very good teams including Biarritz, Toulon away, and the mighty Toulouse at home so this will be no walk in the park for our visiting Cysts.
The coaches have mentioned that the group will be very similar to the one that went to Exeter and Newcastle in the Amlin Challenge Cup earlier in the season and came away with excellent wins from both venues, don’t be surprised to see a halfback pairing of Benoit Paillaugue and Rapha Lagarde, we may also have both Doumayrou brothers in the line up, Geoffrey and Quentin, or at least playing together sometime during the game. This opportunity given to the younger and less experienced members of the squad is their chance to shine and show to the coaches that they were right in their choices. 
In the world of Pro rugby the chance does not knock on the door all that often, especially for the younger guys, so it has to be seized with both hands, lets hope they have every success and give the Gentle Giant and the General (Bechu, Galtie) the sort of selection headaches that every coach yearns for the rest of the season.
Anyone making the long trip to La Rochelle will hopefully see a great game and enjoy some excellent seafood in one of the most stunning and picturesque places of France.  
Steve Whittell.