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MONTPELLIER TAME THE TIGERS

Mardi 09 Août 2011

 

The second warm-up match of three was held last night in the very picturesque town of Millau famous for its bridge , cured salt ham some fairly amazing cheeses, and their rugby club is not bad either. 
 
Under blue skies, amazing views of the surrounding hills and the plateau de Lozere, Montpellier took on Premiership loosing finalists Leicester Tigers. After the first not very impressive performance last week against Grenoble everyone witnessed a Montpellier who had been put to the task this week by the trainers Bechu and Galthie, this was just not the same Montpellier.
 
Hard aggressive running combined with a sound defence put our Cistes on top quickly and in a very short time the young but impressive winger Artru galloped over for the first of his three tries of the game, this was followed by Giorgi Jgenti going over into the hallowed ground with several Tigers hanging on but unable to stop him, both were converted by Raphael Lagarde.
 
The Montpellier defence held very well under pressure and kept the Tigers at bay for long periods of time, Alex Toulou picked up a yellow following an infringement at the breakdown. Playing against 14 the Tigers managed to get their scoreboard rolling, but this could not stop Montpellier who were throwing the ball about in sevens style.
 
Benoit Paillaugue and Raphael Lagarde were serving their backs well with some very clever distribution and the centres breaking tackles and releasing the ball was a pleasure for all to see, this was a training game at its very best and a very healthy crowd was privileged to some great attacking rugby. The Paille added two more tries and Artru got his second before the break, the teams went for lemons with the score Montpellier 33 Leicester Tigers 7.
 
The second half was much the same as the first, hard running from both teams with little or no errors, Leicester managed another three tries to make their efforts reasonable but Montpellier added also another three through Van Vuuren, Artru with his hat trick and the final thrust was by second row forward Mickael Demarco.
 
Sad point of the evening was a very harsh red card for South African prop forward Erasmus Van Vuuren for a high tackle which was an over zealous jest by the man in the middle, but then nobody is perfect.
 
Final score Montpellier 50 Leicester Tigers 24.
 
All in all an extremely good showing from the forwards  with Gjenti, Privat and Alex Toulou on form and the backs all gave 120% with Combezou, Bosch, Audrin and the young Artru all impressive. The half back pairing of Paillaugue and Lagarde was excellent.
 
Steve Whittell.