THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL !!!
Lundi 03 Octobre 2011
The darkness had descended on Montpellier from the start of this season, 2 home games lost, 2 away games the same result and a notable draw in Paris, after last seasons euphoria the results of this season have dropped into a place where nobody wanted to be. Working hard at training has not brought any recompense, the team was not showing that spark of last season the gel had disappeared, morale was low and things although not desperate were heading in that direction, something had to be done!!!
The coaches, Bechu and Galthie decided to take the bull by the horns and gave Llian Perraux his first start at No. 10 playing alongside his team mate and fellow Reichel scrum half Eric Escande, a difficult decision as Eric has had a couple of TOP 14 matches under his belt but Llian was yet to run on to that park for his first start, a massive responsibility for two 18/19 years olds, both playing in key positions with a wealth of experience lining up against them, a do or die situation.
Whether both youngsters were nervous or not, it did not show, and the duo got on with the job in hand without noise or mess. In fact the whole team were to show a face we have not seen this season a face of courage, solidarity, motivation and pure guts, all this plus the way they attacked this game was as a team, and not individually as we have seen in the past few games.
Whether it was in defence or attack Montpellier played with a kindred spirit that has been sadly lacking this season, and urged on by chief pack hound Joan Caudullo, who if he did not have ball in hand was growling orders at all and sundry, or urging his team mates forward at all cost, with every known way possible.
Penalties were the only scores in the first half but Montpellier showed plenty of flair and threatened the try line on numerous occasions without success.
At the pause for lemons the score was Montpellier 9 Toulon 3.
The second half started with a penalty for Pretorius but that was soon cancelled out by Martin Bustos-Moyano when Toulon were again penalised for an infringement at the ruck, 12-6 in the favour of our Blue and Whites. Just after, the ever present Llian Perraux had to leave the field with cramps but to a standing ovation, THE BOY HAD DONE WELL!!!
As was mentioned in my interview with Drikus Hancke this week he said “a little something or maybe a stroke of luck could possibly turn everything around,” in the 56 min Rapha Lagarde replaced the young Perraux and immediately hit a mammoth attempted drop goal, the ball hits a the post and rebounds infield, as all good wingers should, Jimmy Nagusa followed up the kick and skilfully dribble around the 2 remaining defenders, picked the ball into those shovels and ran the remaining 10metres or so to score under the sticks, this was duly converted by Lagarde and Montpellier were 13pts to the better of their visitors.
There were no more scores in the match but Montpellier carried on in the same vein and Toulon never really looked like scoring, yellow cards were shown to Doumayrou and Tillous-Borde for handbags in the 66th min, and as the Toulon replacement had come on in the 65th min he did not even have time to break into a sweat, but still he was sent to the bin to cool off!!!
Final score Montpellier 19 Toulon 6.
Compliments must be given to the whole team and the bench, the spirit, commitment, pride and courage that they brought to this game was outstanding, Montpellier are a long way from the finished article but work is certainly in progress.
Vassili Bost, Mika Demarco, Joan Caudullo and Nems Leleimalefaga (who played the full 80 mins) must be given maximum points for efforts, but Man of the Match just had to go to Llian Perraux with Eric Escande running a close second.
The class of 92/93 gave Toulon the run around and showed even some of their team mates a thing or two, these two youngsters maybe lacking in experience but with the quality, commitment and pride that they displayed in this match their progress will be watched very closely.