‘More to come from Montpellier’ – White

Date published: May 14 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Jake_White_Montpellier_coach_Challenge_Cup_Final_2016

Montpellier head coach Jake White believes their Challenge Cup triumph can help them achieve more success before the end of the season.

The former Springbok coach guided Montpellier to a 26-19 win over Harlequins in the final in Lyon on Friday and gives them the chance to do the double by winning the Top 14 title as well.

"To beat Harlequins, who had never lost in a final before, is terrific for us and it must be a massive boost for this group. If we reflect on this there is no reason we can't be a force going forward," White told EPC Rugby.

"I'm amazed that it got to happen so quickly. Everyone knows it takes time for a club to develop. What I'm excited about is that success has come so quickly.

"It means that we have missed a few steps. Sometimes when you lose you have to go backwards to try to find out what went wrong.

"Emotionally I am overwhelmed. To see a crowd this supporting the team is great. It doesn't matter what happened last year, it only matters about what happens moving forward."

These sides qualified from the same pool which meant it was their third meeting this season and White revealed that their 41-18 loss to Quins in their tournament opener at The Stoop was a big motivational factor for his charges ahead of the final.

"The thing that turned it in our favour was that we got a drubbing from Harlequins in the first game," he added.

"That really hurt us and we probably thought we were a little bit better than we were," admitted White.

"That lesson stuck with us and we knew how difficult it was going to be to beat them here in Lyon. It is quite ironic that the first game we played in the cup was against the Harlequins and so was the last.

"It was about fast forwarding a club. Everyone in France wants to win things and I was just comfortable that the guys I brought in knew how to win and worked hard. That rubs off on the other players.

"You get criticised a bit when you bring in South Africans but every club is allowed 16 foreign players and I'm just more comfortable with the players I know."

COMMENTS