H CUP HEAVEN…
Lundi 17 Décembre 2012
The return fixture on Saturday evening saw Montpellier host to Cardiff Blues, after last weeks first away H Cup win in Cardiff, Montpellier wanted to go one better and do the double over Cardiff, but their opponents had nothing to loose and all to gain, so an excellent contest could be on the cards.
The game was played in front of a good festive crowd of 11,210 with some of the Cardiff supporters doing themselves proud with a selection of Blue Father Christmas’s, well played boys.
The game was a delight to watch with both teams trying to play fast open rugby, Cardiff were the first on the scoreboard with a Sam Warburton try, Montpellier had a 5mts.line out and made a total mess of it, leaving the Welsh Captain only to fall over the line for the first 5 pts of the game, Patchell missed the conversion. Montpellier quickly replied with a MBM penalty only for Patchell to knock over another penalty for Cardiff, MHR 3 Blues 8. Montpellier were playing some excellent rugby with the backs and forwards combining well and the ball advanced down the park with relative ease. Jimmy Nagusa had a perfectly good try disallowed after the ref went to the video, but the crowd did not have to wait long before Jimmy was back again this time going over the line and the ref awarded the try which was converted by MBM. Montpellier started to accelerate into top gear and wave after wave of attacks were thrust upon the Blues but their defence was doing well, although it was working overtime, finally after several thrusts at the line Rassie VanVuuren went over, a difficult man to stop from close quarters, MBM on top form added the extras and Montpellier were ahead by 17-8, the score did not move any more till the break and Montpellier went for lemons needing 2 more tries for the attacking bonus point.
The second half was again all Montpellier, the forwards getting stronger and stronger, but Cardiff showed well and Rys Patchell once again did well with the boot often finding long touches and sending the home side back into their own half, this youngster has certainly got loads of talent lets hope it not wasted in the years to come. Yoan Audrin got the 3rd try of the game for Montpellier after good work by both forwards and backs; again MBM added the extras and Montpellier were starting to sniff the scent of that 4th try and their first ever attacking H Cup bonus point. Alex Cuthbert did go over for Cardiff’s 2nd try; his usual effort; strong running and breaking tackles on the way, another very good young player who scores this sort of try regularly for Wales. Montpellier hit back straight away after some fine sweeping rugby with the ball going from left to right and back again and some wonderful combinations from several players leaving Man of the Match Jonnie Beattie to go over unopposed, MBM again added the extras and Montpellier were ahead 31-15. Patchell added another 2 penalties for Cardiff and MBM had the last word with his final penalty giving the Argentinean a 100% record with the boot. Final score Montpellier 34 Cardiff Blues 21.
This was a team effort with all the players producing some good rugby, the ball was thrown about intelligently and the score could have been more serious if the knock-ons and forward passes were ruled out, but playing rugby at this speed, mistakes will creep in now and again. Jonnie Beattie well deserved his H Cup Man of the Match award, this player is going from strength to strength and with Alex Tulou on his way back from injury the coaches are going to have a selection problem that many would be envious off. Back to back victories over Cardiff and a very impressive 13pts total so far in this season’s H Cup campaign, last season our first in the H Cup, Montpellier only managed 8 pts and one win, so with 3 victories already under the belt the Cistes stand an excellent chance of going through as pool leaders or one of the two best seconds, whatever happens the club is progressing on all levels and starting to make their mark in the elite of today.
Next week the TOP 14 is back on track with an away match against USAP (Perpignan) and we all remember what happened at Aime Giral last season!!!
Pitch side interview with centre Paul Bosch:
Steve Whittell: Paul that was an excellent game of rugby !!!
Paul Bosch: Definitely its not often that you can play fast running rugby, and its always good to play against other teams from different nations, you never get lethargic, and keeps all the boys on their toes but I thing everyone enjoyed today and took great pleasure in establishing a 5 pts win, also entertaining the supporters at the same time giving them a great showing to watch, it was end to end stuff played at a terrific pace but then that’s what its all about when you get it more or less right.
Steve Whittell: You didn’t get on the scoreboard but was involved well throughout the game.
Paul Bosch: No not this time, but 4 tries and we could have had more, if the little mistakes had not happened. The tries were all well constructed and a pleasure to be involved in, I think everybody had a lot of fun out this evening which does not happen that often and the rugby today is very defensive and not that often do you get the chance to run hard with ball in hand. The team is going good at the moment and with one or two players returning from injury we could be fielding one hell of a team next week in Perpignan.
Steve Whittell: Two more H Cup games to play in January and we are sitting well in 2nd place behind Toulon...
Paul Bosch: There is no reason why we cannot qualify, the task will not be easy as we have to go to Sale and we have TOP 14 leaders Toulon at home but the way the boys are playing anything is possible, and there is a massive amount of confidence in the group at the moment, a great bunch of guys who never stop working for each other, if this carries on there is no reason why we could not, just possibly do something that has never happened at Montpellier before
Steve Whittell: Cheers Paul the boys are doing a deserved lap of honour, go and join them……