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WE HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE

Lundi 20 Août 2012

 

Another season is already on its way with history repeating itself a game away from home in Paris, last season it was Racing Metro, this season it’s Stade Francais, without our Argentineans and a bucketful of injuries, but never the less players of excellent quality to defend our first game of the season.
 
 Under a sky without cloud and temperatures reaching nearly 40°in the Stade Charlety Montpellier were never really in the game they conceded, 2 yellows both sides of half time, the first, Capt. Fulgence after repeated infringements by our Cistes and unfortunately for him he paid the price of a referee who was beginning to have certain reservations about Montpellier’s on the floor tactics, so after penalties shared by both teams, they left the park for lemons  and generous amounts of water at 9-9. At the start of the 2nd half Peyras put his hands where he shouldn’t after an attack and near certain try for Stade, he also heard the wrath of the man in charge and got his marching orders for 10 mins. in the cooler.
 
With only 13 players on the park a situation nearly impossible for Montpellier and of course the first try of the game was quickly scored by Stade, Warwick going over after an outrageous dummy!!. Porical added the extras plus another penalty whistled against the visitors.22-9.
Montpellier were given a penalty from where Paillaugue hit the upright, the forwards collected the rebounding ball a quick ruck the ball was quickly sent out to Pelo who from 5 yards crashed over, not many will stop this heavyweight from close quarters, the try was transformed and Montpellier were back in the game and having the bonus point in their pockets and possibly still time to win the game. The joy however was short lived after an up and under from Trinh-Duc a massive error where the ball was left to bounce and collected by Stade, it was delivered to Bonfils who scampered under the post for an easy try more or less unopposed and only 4 mins remaining on the clock,  Porical transformed. He added another penalty on the bell and that was that, Stade Francais came out easy winners by 32-16.
 
Whether old habits are coming back to haunt Montpellier or they have never gone away, infringements nearly uncountable, touches lost, aggression still on holiday, and a disarray in defence, it is the first match of the season but no excuses, the efforts were not enough and more hard work has to be done during training this week especially with the scruffy discipline, because next Saturday Clermont will be present at the Stade Yves de Manoir ko. 18.30 and they will be looking for points after their win in the first game of their season away at Bayonne.
 
Another little anecdote was that all by one of the TOP 14 with new coaches and trainers lost their opening season games, maybe a lesson to be learnt don’t change the coach at the end of the season!!! 
 
 Steve Whittell.