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Le 03 août 2011


It was not that long ago that Montpellier were playing a certain final in Paris against Toulouse, but that’s now history, holidays over and back to work preparing for the new season, after 2 weeks training and an altitude fitness training week in Tignes where the team encountered sun rain and even snow while being put through their paces, the team finally found the pitch where they were to take on Grenoble Rugby Club in Pezenas on Tuesday evening.
The holiday crowds turned up in mass for the game and nearly 2,000 supporters were present, which gave unique atmosphere to this wonderful area of southern France, and also very beneficial for a small Federale 3 club who never have any real gate receipts, a well organised event, with  a well attended bar and Bar B Que of substance, a credit to Pezenas rugby club.
Grenoble after just missing out on promotion to the elite last season did not come to just make up the numbers and were definitely there to show off their skills in both defence and attack. They threw the ball about in gay fashion and were rewarded with 4 tries against a solitary try for Montpellier. 
The TOP 14 team had forgotten to put glue on their hands after countless knock ons and unforced errors they had to concede defeat to a team that merited their victory and showed to all that the level of PRO D2 is not that far behind the elite. Final score Montpellier 7 - Grenoble 26.
However this was a preparation game before the real thing and with all Montpellier’s Internationals away on World Cup duty the team was a mixture of new signings e.g. Remy Martin Thibault Privat,Yohan Audrin, just to mention a few and several of our up and coming Espoirs, Artru, Sicard, Galletier, Eberland, Perreaux and Archimbaud  along with the already established and familiar names we are all used to, Hancke Caudullo, Fakate.
Although there is not much praise to be given to the Montpellier performance, certain players did look good; Alex Toulou looked very fit, the young Artru had plenty of speed on the wing, Benji Thiery sound as a pound at fullback, and of course Giorgi Jgenti our mountain man prop forward who knows only how to give 100% or more, he spent most of his holidays walking up and down mountains with backpack and shotgun back home in Georgia hunting wild boar and hares, and that in itself does not surprise anyone. 
The players will have to make enormous progress before the start of the new season which is only 3 weeks away with a visit to Racing Metro, but there are still 2 games to be played in the Challenge Vaquerin, one in Millau next Monday 8th Aug against Leicester Tigers and the 17th Aug in St. Affrique against PRO D2 side Aix en Provence, so there is still time to iron out mistakes and bring the team together as a well oiled working unit.
Steve Whittell.