Montpellier got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a winning start on Saturday with a 27-10 victory over Treviso at Stadio di Monigo.
Montpellier got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a winning start on Saturday with a 27-10 victory over Treviso at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.
Montpellier made hard work of it at times but scored two second-half tries to get the valuable win away from home.
Treviso had lost just one of their past nine matches at home and were not going to be pushovers for their more illustrious Top 14 opponents, who left captain Fulgence Ouedraogo and in-form scrum-half Jonathan PelissiÃ© on the bench.
And it was PelissiÃ©'s replacement, Benoit Paillaugue, who was the most prominent name on the scoreboard in the first half as he kicked three penalties to just one from Tobias Botes.
Montpellier survived a spell down to 14 men midway through the first half when influential Georgian back rower Mamuka Gorgodze marked his first appearance of the season after returning from a calf injury by earning himself a yellow card for a high tackle.
And the Frenchmen did have several try-scoring opportunities, with centre Thomas Combezou coming particularly close in the dying stages after an impressive break from winger Yoann Audrin, but Treviso were resolute and rode their luck to leave the score 9-3 at the interval.
Paillaugue added another three points shortly after the restart but the game was really smashed open midway through the second half.
Treviso had to deal with the loss of both hooker Enrico Ciccato and number eight Robert Barbieri to the sin bin and the visitors opted to introduce Ouedraogo and PelissiÃ© into the action.
PelissiÃ© kicked a penalty almost immediately and took less than 10 minutes to score the game's first try.
The replacement scrum-half took a penalty quickly and showed good speed of mind and feet to catch the Italian defence unawares and touch down underneath the posts.
That try broke Treviso's resistance in truth and PelissiÃ© had a hand in the second soon afterwards as well as he helped to spin the ball out wide to Combezou, who had the simple task of crashing over the line.
The home side did get a consolation try late on as Japanese international replacement Christian Loamanu drove his way over from short range but they were well-beaten and Montpellier will be hoping to go from strength to strength and make a big impression in Pool 5.
Yellow cards: Ceccato, Barbieri
Tries: PelissiÃ©, Combezou
Pens: Paillaugue 4, PelissiÃ©
Yellow cards: Gorgodze; Bustos
Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Luke McLean, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 James Ambrosini.
Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Anthony Tuitavke, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Kelian Galletier, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias (capt), 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Maximiliano Bustos, 19 Thibaut Privat, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Jonathan Pelissie, 22 Enzo Selponi, 23 Yohann Artru.
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Kieran Barry (Ireland), Eanna O'Dowd (Ireland)
Television match official: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Brian Abrahams (England)