After four defeats in a row in the Top 14, reigning French champion Montpellier took advantage of a Clermont team which finished the match at fourteen to raise their heads (34-6) at the start of the 20th day.
Montpellier no longer had the right to make mistakes. Remaining on four defeats in a row in the Top 14, the reigning French champion had to win on his lawn at GGL Stadium to stop his fall and stay in the race for places in the final phase. If the first minutes of the meeting saw the Cists take the initiative, this did not translate to the scoreboard. On the contrary, it was the Jaunards who opened the scoring shortly before the quarter-hour mark. Following an obstruction by Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Anthony Belleau passed the ball between the 30-meter poles. In the aftermath, Paolo Garbisi did not experience the same success at an equivalent distance from the target. Led to the score, the MHR did not go far from sinking when, in less than two minutes, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg then Bastien Chalureau received a yellow card due to an accumulation of faults to which the referee did not did not remain insensitive. However, Clermont failed to make the most of this double numerical superiority.
Cancoriet too unruly for Clermont
Indeed, the Auvergnats only scored three points on foot through Anthony Belleau shortly after the half-hour mark. This time, Paolo Garbisi did not fail to bring Montpellier closer to three lengths two minutes from the break. Philippe Saint-André’s players ended up taking the lead when they returned to the locker room. After seeing Judicaël Cancoriet leave ASM at fourteen after being at fault in a ruck, George Bridge was perfectly staggered after a long streak of upwind play to flatten the first try of the meeting . Les Cistes started the second act at the same time as they finished the first. Barely five minutes after the restart, Thomas Darmon put a hell of a blow on the head of the Clermontois, going to conclude a one-two with Jan Serfontein. The match definitely turned in the 49th minute when Judicaël Cancoriet saw red. Guilty of a high tackle on Masivesi Dakuwaqa, the third line from Clermont was logically expelled by the referee of the meeting.
Montpellier seized their chance
If Paolo Garbisi was unable to convert the penalty resulting from this fault into points, Montpellier did not immediately take advantage of this numerical superiority. While Jules Plisson missed a penalty, Clermont held out the stick to get beaten when Sébastien Bézy was guilty of a voluntary forward and a high tackle. The result was a yellow card for the scrum-half and a double penalty kill for ASM. In the process, on the sidelines, Montpellier went into touch and took the opportunity to throw a carried ball. Vincent Giudicelli took the opportunity to flatten MHR’s third try. Cobus Reinach reinforced the offensive bonus of the Cistes at the start of the last ten minutes by coming to conclude a smoothly conducted counter. On the last action, Brandon Paenga-Amosa was propelled into the in-goal by his teammates in a carried ball having gone up ten meters. Montpellier returns to victory and the offensive bonus (34-6) and does not lose hope of defending its title in the final phase. Clermont continues to alternate good and less good without however taking shelter in the race to maintain.