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THE TAMING OF THE TIGERS

Lundi 12 Août 2013
Swiss precision is renowned world wide but on Friday evening Montpellier brought their own precision, but of a different kind. The first ever Legion Geneva Challenge was held to promote Swiss rugby, 4 teams Harlequins Racing Metro, Leicester and our very own Montpellier. The result of the first match a victory for Racing 40 -28 against Harlequins. The second game between Montpellier and Leicester was played in the evening in front of a good 10,000 holiday crowd who came with interest to see this first ever Challenge organised by the Swiss. The 3rd pre season game for Montpellier and although Leicester had several players missing as they were on forced holiday after the Lions tour down under, the French / English games have always had spice and one-upmanship, the winner is always remembered and often reminded by their vanquished opponents of the next game, which funnily enough is in December as Leicester are in the same Pool 5 as Montpellier in this seasons H Cup. Whether Montpellier had eaten a super lunch or it was just the Swiss air, from the very start their only wish was to play fast open but with the greatest of precise, against the Premiership Champions. This they succeeded in doing with near relative ease running in 8 magnificent tries, Lucas Dupont got a hat-trick, Yohann Artru went over twice, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yoan Audrin one apiece, and Jonnie Beattie did himself no harm with a try of his own. All bar two were converted by Francois Trinh-Duc, Jonathan Pelissie and Benoit Paillaugue who was making his first showing of the season after the birth of his daughter Milla, heartiest congratulations to both parents. The final score Montpellier 52 Leicester 15, and after such a resounding result Montpellier received their first trophy of the season, let’s hope it will not be the last!!!
 
The start of this season’s TOP 14 is now only 5 days away, KO 20.45 Fri evening 16th August, but what timing by General Galthie’s prodigies, Montpellier looked very sharp in all departments playing some thrilling rugby at great pace, they never gave Leicester a chance the scrum was superb even with the new rules, defence very solid, Leicester only went over twice through Morris, and with ball in hand Montpellier were ferocious,  Francois Trinh-Duc orchestrated from the 10 spot with guile and ability, showing the Swiss why he will soon be wearing that French no.10 shirt. The centre pairing of Wynand Oliver and Anthony Tuitavake performed very well, serving both Artru and Dupont with 5 tries between the two wingers, both scrum halves Pelisse and Paillaugue gave good ball and if there was space they both used it intelligently, The pack dynamic and looks ready to give Toulon a torrid time next Fri evening. All in all an excellent last pre season warm-up game, now the most serious of seasons yet, is about to start with the visit of H Cup winners Toulon who have recruited again this season, some of the Worlds greatest rugby players, that is why Friday evenings match is already a sell out, with standing room only, left to be purchased. The first match to be televised by Canal + this season and what a match to appetise any rugby supporter this could be one of the toughest but best seasons ever witnessed in France. Can’t wait !!!!!!
 
Steve Whittell.