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THE MASTER AT WORK

Jeudi 05 Septembre 2013
After  Saturdays last 15 minutes fiasco against Brive where Montpellier were leading 33-3 and then let in 3 very soft tries to finish only just hanging on to victory 33-24, changes mentally and physically were of the up most importance. The General Galthie aided by Mario Ledesma and Stephan Glas with absolutely no time to spare had to prepare a team worthy of travelling to Bordeaux and showing a face which most people would recognise, a face entirely different to the one on show Sat. evening. Sunday was a rest day Monday the healing of wounds and video explanations, which left basically only Tuesday to work with the boys to change a mental attitude that was not going in the right direction. Although there was victory on Sat evening the general attitude seemed that a defeat had taken place and with another 2 matches in 5 days against Bordeaux Begles, and Stade Toulouse serious thoughts had to be delivered and in express fashion. A task of monumental heights but if any one was good to go its Fabien Galthie, one of a very rare breed who knows how to set targets but also accomplish the very same, many changes were made some through injuries some forced rest and a team with maybe not many new faces but certainly a team that would not be everyone’s choice. The young Enzo Selponi at fly half who turned 20 only last June, Alex Bias Captain, Jonnie Beattie starting at no.8, no Francois Trin-Duc and Fulgence Ouedraogo on the bench, Bordeaux unbeaten at home the task difficult to say the least. 
 
Montpellier’s management of the game was superb, using the pitch to its full extent, when under pressure the ball was thumped down field and the defence came up with lightening speed and aggression, when Montpellier did not have the ball they organized themselves with intelligence and cohesion, Chances were few and far between but the majority were taken which produce 3 excellent tries, 2 for Yoan Audrin and the third for Thomas Combezou, Benoit Paillaugue  added 2 conversions and 4 penalties, Jonathon Pelissie getting the last penalty late on in the match, after replacing the Little Big Man in the 62nd min. Final score Bordeaux Begles  29 Montpellier 36.
 
Yes there were still mistakes, errors in defence as Bordeaux Begles scored 3 tries themselves through Talebua, Connor and Maynadier’s  last minute effort which gave the bonus point to Bordeaux when all seemed to be lost at sea. Perfection it was definitely not, but Courage and Attitude, and game management there was in abundance, of course it’s the players who are on the field but the structural engineer is General Galthie, who must take a large amount of credit for this exceptional win away from home, he is often criticized for his passion for perfection but when it come to bringing home the bacon there is no one more capable than the General !!!! This could just be the shot in the arm Montpellier needed, to rekick start their season, bring on Toulouse!!! Sunday, ko. 15.30.
 
Steve Whittell.