UGLY BUT MONTPELLIER TAKE THE WIN
Lundi 25 Février 2013
This weekends game was another where Montpellier would be missing their Internationals but more important was the injury list that was increasing by the week, Figallo our Argentinean prop out for the rest of the season, Alex Bias pulled from the team at the last minute due to a back injury and still no Fulgence Ouedraogo, already Montpellier have called in a Medical replacement for Shontayne Hape also out after a series of concussions and advised to have complete rest for the rest of the season. Bordeaux also had their problems and with a massive game next week against Agen they had decided to rest some of their key players, but struggling in the depths this season they were still looking for desperate points needed for their survival. Alex Bias out at the last minute and named Capt. for the day, so the role was given to Benoit Paillaugue who after several excellent performances this season deserved the armband...
The game lucky enough for all was a 15.00 KO. but under freezing temperatures as the thermometer never got over 0°, the backs with freezing fingers were always going to have trouble keeping hold of the ball. Mistakes galore was the plat du jour, line outs lost, bad decisions, knock-ons, forward passes, Montpellier managed about everything possible except score a try, but at the end of the game and lucky maybe, they finished with more points than Bordeaux Begles which gave them the 4 points they badly needed and the next thing to do was move on to next week, job done, not well but sometimes winning ugly is necessary and at the end of the day if you look back later in the history records it will be recorded as a win and nothing else. 5 Paillaugue penalties another 100% for the Little Big Man while Bordeaux did get the only try of the game after an interception on their own 22mts, and a 75mts dash by their bench replacement, winger Metuisela Talebula, Sanchez added the extras plus another 2 penalties by Sanchez, the score at the end of the game 15-13 to the hosts. Bordeaux did have the chance to steal the game with a last minute penalty but the ball fell off the kicking tee, a moment of panic by Sanchez, two of his players both trying to hold the ball upright and the final kick went just wide, a massive sigh of relief by the home players and the 9,800 crowd, Montpellier then kept the ball till the final siren where it was expedited into touch with little remorse, match won and at the end of the day that is all that matters. Wining ugly is what all teams have to do now and again.
Next week Montpellier may well be playing their qualification for the end of season play-offs, a mouth watering Castres v Montpellier KO. 18.00 at Pierre Antoine, this game could well decide that eventual 4th place and a home tie in the playoffs.
Pitch side interview with Alex Tulou, Montpellier’s No.8.
Steve Whittell: Not the prettiest of games Alex, but a win is a win and we will take the 4 pts and move on.
Alex Tulou: Exactly that was one of those games that nearly got away but we survived to live another day, we had a few last minute adjustments just before the KO. which upset the game plan a little, but yes of course we will take the points, there were lots of silly errors and a few bad choices but sometimes even with everything against you the team managed the win and the boys came up to the mark.
Steve Whittell: With all the injuries and Internationals missing, the team choice was very limited.
Alex Tulou: Without a doubt, plus the last minute changes it was never going to be easy, but the boys and some of them have not started that much recently did a great job under tremendous pressure, there were some big shoes to step into this afternoon and the guys did it well, Yes it was not pretty at times but at the end of the day we will take the win and the 4 points and move on, but next week the effort will have to be much greater if we are to take on Castres at Pierre Antoine next Saturday.
Steve Whittell: Thanks Alex sometimes winning ugly is not all that bad!!!!
Interview by Steve Whittell.