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WHEN DOUBT BECOMES REALITY !

Le 04 janvier 2021

After last weeks game vs La Rochelle, Montpellier needed to better themselves this weekend vs Toulouse, a difficult task as Toulouse are playing their usual great game of running fast rugby and this will be a real home game test for the boys. Confidence is not running high at the moment as the team is lying in 12th place in this season’s competition and their rugby has seen better days. Toulouse had rested some of their stars but came with a bench jam packed with internationals, which could well make a big difference later on in the game. The game got underway in not great conditions with the rain streaming down; rugby with the hands was going to be a difficult process this afternoon, and the boot will probably in greater evidence.

The first half was only penalties, the two teams trying their level best to play good rugby but the defences of both teams were water tight and nobody could break the last line of defence. Toulouse was the dominant team and looked more likely to score first, but whatever they threw at Montpellier the defence held strong. When the referee blew for half time the scores were level at 6-6.

The second half was much the same as the first except that Toulouse upped the anti and started to control the game and when ever Montpellier had the ball their attack was going nowhere, they were very easy to defend against and Toulouse only had to use a drift defence to counter attack, and when the ball came out to the wing there was plenty of Toulousains to tackle or steal the pigskin. Nothing seemed to be working for Montpellier, they were dominated in the scrum had their lineout ball stolen a few times and as per many games this season, far to many penalties conceded playing continually on the back foot is never a good way to win any game, both teams added a penalty, Bouthier for Montpellier and Ramos for Toulouse 9-9. In the 54th minut Toulouse let loose their bench 6 replacements coming on with immediate effect, definitely a great move by Ugo Mola as filtering players off the bench one by one has little effect on the game but bring nearly the total bench on at the same time makes a massive difference. The game became totally one sided as Toulouse become stronger as each minute passed, and it was evident that at some point they were going to get that all important try. The young International scrum half Antoine Dupont started to boss the game and after numerous attacks on the Montpellier 5 meters line they finally powered over with a try from Miquel after sterling work from the Toulouse forwards and a certain Dupont, the extras were added and Toulouse had a lead of 9-16. Finally the minuts ticked away and Montpellier were looking at another home defeat . The referee blew for full time and Toulouse had their victory 9-16.

This was a game that lessons needed to be learned from and with a postponed game vs Lyon this Wednesday and Brive next Sunday, Montpellier need to roll up their socks and put in the hard yards, already they are lying in 13th position in this season’s and a barrage game could be on the menu if they do not escape from their present position. Pro D2 rugby is out of the question next season.!!!

Steve Whittell.