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COULD DO BETTER

Lundi 02 Septembre 2013
As on most school reports at the end of term those words that make everyone cringe “Could do Better”, which was certainly the case for Montpellier on a glorious Sat. evening against newly promoted Brive.
 
The first half was a torrid affair, Montpellier had all the ball and attacked the Brive try line  but with not a lot to show for it, 3 Benoit Paillaugue penalties and a drop goal from Francois Trinh-Duc, far too often the home side got white line fever and showed their complete disregard for “Patience.” Countless times Montpellier were camped on the Brive try line and everybody wanted to get on the score board, the bare facts of it was nobody did, endless mistakes, bad choices, the bonus point could have been well and truly sealed in the first half but Brive defended well and with the help of Montpellier’s constant flaws the first half remained try less. 12-3 to Montpellier. Everybody had a sneaky feeling that the flood gates would open in the 2nd half and Montpellier secure their first win of the season and their first attacking bonus point.
 
The second half stated much the same with Montpellier having all the ball and eventually things started to happen the first try was scored by Jimmy Nagusa making his first appearance of the season after a knee injury, good work by Paillaugue from the scrum and then Anthony Tuitavake finally timing his pass to perfection, The Little Big Man added the extras. The second try was an all forward affair after pounding the Brive try line and a couple of scrums the ref lost his patience and went under the sticks for a penalty try which was well deserved, the dominance of the forward play was one way only. The 3rd try came after an excellent break from Anthony Tuitavake, Benoit Sicart who replaced the injured Floch at full back was on his outside took the ball well and off he went into the Promised Land and under the sticks, the extras were again added by Ben Paillaugue. The score 33-3, bonus point obtained and match in secure hands with only 15 minutes to go. Then Walkabouts began, for reasons unknown to man or beast, Montpellier became non existent, errors after mistakes, then more mistakes, and 15 minutes later Montpellier were hanging on by the skin of their teeth, tries from Fererres, Asiesvili, and Germain which were all converted by Germain brought Brive to 33-24, luckily Montpellier held out to deny a bonus point that Brive probably deserved in the end for their late rally, but they were certainly helped by the non existence and complete disregard of everything that has been processed on the training pitch so far this season, the home side went to pieces in the last 15 mins. giving Brive a golden opportunity to nearly level the game. Winning ugly does happen and the 4 points taken will be kept, but 2 hours after the match was over Fabien Galthie was still shaking his head in disbelievement. 
 
The Ref Mon. Romain Poite had a good game, in complete control and was in Sales mood with the yellows 6 in all, 4 for Brive, and 2 for Montpellier, it is just a shame that we have not more Romain Poite’s in charge of refereeing the TOP 14 
Charity always starts at home, but this type of donation should not, and should never again be on Montpellier’s menu. They have now to sit down and sort out the grey matter, the body is willing but the head is confusing the actions, and things have to change, and change they will the General will not accept this anymore from anyone, Beware….!!! 
 
Interview with Wynand Olivier Montpellier’s South African centre.
 
Steve Whittell:  Wyn we shall take the 4 point win but that was a disastrous finish?
 
Wynand Olivier: We had the game sewn up and in the last 15 mins we lost complete control, somehow we took the finger of the button and just lost it, why I am not sure but I think we will find out when we get back into the changing room.
 
Steve Whittell: We just seem to stop playing, and let them do exactly what they wanted to do?
 
Wynand Olivier:  Exactly there is not a lot of positives to take away from the game, we will take the win and the 4 points but after that nothing, the boys are very disappointed with their performance tonight, we can play much better than that , to be honest it feels as though we have lost the game.
 
Steve Whittell: Ok we take the win and the 4 points but that winning bonus point we may regret later on in the season?
 
Wynand Olivier: We have to be happy with the 4 points but not our performance we should have closed the game down 33-3 with the bonus point and we let them back into the game, there will be lots of hard work to be done before next Wed’s game against Bordeaux, we have to get this one out of our system and concentrate on the next one, and a win away from home will get things back on track.
 
Steve Whittell: We now need a good performance at Bordeaux on Wed.
 
Wynand Olivier: Definitely that will not put this match right, but it will bring the confidence levels back to where they were, there are a lot of the guys who know they could have done much better tonight, we know we are a better team than we have shown, back to the drawing board, work hard and get back on track.
 
Steve Whittell: Thanks Wyn, as they say in the end of term school report “Could Do Better.”
 
By Steve Whittell