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Le 15 septembre 2014
Bordeaux was the venue for the 5th day in this season Top 14, but for the only two left still to play, and it was a Sunday afternoon game, a hot Sunday afternoon at that. Since the hosts came back into the Elite Montpellier have never lost in Bordeaux but all the victories were in Stadium Moga, this game is being played in Chaban Delmas, new to Montpellier would this be an omen good or bad only time would tell!!!
The game started with both teams sizing each other up, first on the score board was Benoit Paillaugue, for Montpellier 0-3 to the visitors, but quickly the hosts hit back with a break down the middle by Connor who despite being well tackled got the ball out to Talebula who went over unopposed, Bernard converted and the score 7-3 to the hosts.
Paillaugue made a good break but a high tackle from Poirot send him to the bin for a 10 min cool down, could Montpellier take advantage of the 14 men left on the park. They attacked well using the forwards to get good position up field the ball came out of the ruck went through several hands before Fall forced himself over the line for Montpellier’s first try of the game, the ref asked for the video as there was maybe an obstruction or not in the backs, after consultation the ref raised his arm to the heavens try awarded, Paillaugue was unlucky with the conversion going just wide. 7-8. Paillaugue added another penalty to push the score to 7-11 but that was outweighed by Bernard who added another of his own to keep the score board ticking over for the hosts Bordeaux. 10-11.
There were far too many errors in mid field by both teams and lots of scrappy ball, from a touch played quickly Bernard served Connor who broke through the Montpellier defence giving the lock Marais a try on a Golden Platter he collected and ran the 15 mts. going over in the corner, Bernard missed the extras, but just before half time added another penalty for the Ref to blow for the break, the score 18-11 to Bordeaux.
The second half was under way and Benoit Paillaugue added another penalty to bring Montpellier to within 4 points 18-14, but that was quickly counter attacked by Bernard who moved Bordeaux another 3 pts clear to go ahead to 21-14. Montpellier were playing in spasms but could not get any continuity going, but after a good break by the forwards Qera charged down the middle was held up just short, but quick ball from the ruck, Pelissie who had come off the bench to replace Paillaugue threw a monster pass to Fall who dived over in the corner,  FTD had to take the conversion but it was right on the touch line a very difficult kick, but our FTD is on form and over sailed the kick a beauty, scores level 21-21 and all to play for.
Bordeaux nearly got themselves another try when Benjy Fall rushed out of defence but missed his man, life saver Jonathon Pelissie tacked the player and just about got enough of his body between the ball and the goal line , after video the ref said “NO TRY”  that was close. The ref did award a 5 mts. scrum, from the scrum the ball came out and Rene Ranger tackled far too high in front of the sticks, yellow card and another penalty!!!! Bernard does not miss from this range and Bordeaux had their noses in front once again. 24-21, another penalty this time it was Nems Leleimalefaga, who lost his battle upfront against the massive Taofifenua and again Bernard passed the 3 points 27-21, this was not looking good for Montpellier, they had lost the bonus point and only 5 minutes to go. The plays at the end of the game were Bordeaux playing hide and seek with the bal,l and their forwards kept in up their shirts until the siren sounded and then ball was immediately kicked out of play.
Final score Bordeaux 27 Montpellier 21.
This was a nearly affair for Montpellier but once again vital touches were lost in excellent attacking positions, far too many dropped passes and also passes going astray of hands, the precision of Montpellier’s play was something to be desired, although the spirit was there the energy levels seem to be waining in the last 15 minutes of the game. This was Montpellier first afternoon game in heat maybe that was the problem. However Bordeaux do play a very expansive game of rugby and they did throw the ball about with lots of energy, and just maybe the pace was just too hard in the end for the visitors. Salutations must be given to Montpellier’s new medical joker, tight head prop Emilio Coria who played a blinder while he was on the park his scrimmaging, body positions in the scrum was excellent, and ball in hand he made a good impact and certainly looks like an excellent signing replacing David Attoub, well until he recovers from his arm injury. This was not vintage Montpellier the Chateau this time was Bordelaise, their victory just about merited and for Montpellier, nothing, not even the defensive bonus point, hard work this week will be on the menu and that starts tomorrow the squad are going Grape harvesting in the Domain de Haut Lirou which is Pic St Loup country, lets hope the local vigneron drives them hard.!!! 
Steve Whittell