Planet Rugby

Castres win semi-final in extra time

17th May 2014 18:02

Share:

Castres s Seremala Bai C celebrates after drop v Montpellier top 14 semi final

Winning drop: Seremaia Bai

A Seremaia Bai drop-goal in extra time saw Castres beat Montpellier 22-19 in Saturday's Top 14 semi-final in Lille.

Castres will now defend their championship title in a rematch of last year's final against Toulon at the Stade de France in Paris on May 31.

With the scores locked at 19-all after a tense 80 minutes in an engrossing encounter, two additional halves of 10 minutes were played with the defending champions' resilient defence holding off Montpellier's impressive attacking play.

Indeed, Montpellier will harbour a number of regrets having done most the playing and dominating for large parts of the second half.

Castres led 13-10 at the interval thanks to a try from Antonie Claassen and a couple of penalties from Rory Kockott while Montpellier had replied via a Rene Ranger try and drop from François Trinh-Duc.

The second half turned into a battle of the place-kickers as Kockott and Trinh-Duc traded three-pointers.

Montpellier started in terrible fashion as Ranger was shown a yellow card inside 20 seconds after taking Castres centre Romain Cabannes out in the air.

Castres flank Yannick Caballero came close to scoring after collecting a cross-field kick from Remi Talès but lost the ball in the process of going over the line as Montpellier number eight Alex Tulou made a desperate tackle. Castres scrum-half Kockott was nevertheless able to open the scoring as the ref came back for a penalty for pulling down a maul.

After a hectic opening ten minutes, Castres wing Remy Grosso was sent to the sin bin for taking opposite number Timoci Nagusa out in the air.

Montpellier fly-half Trinh-Duc drew his side level with neat drop goal after 25 minutes as compensation for a period of sustained pressure.

Kockott put the defending champs back in front with a monster penalty from 55m although he sent his next effort wide from the same distance.

The game's first try came on the half-hour mark when Claassen muscled his way over off the back of the advancing Castres scrum. Kockott landed the easy conversion to put CO up 13-3.

The reply from Montpellier was immediate though as Ranger touched down under the sticks for a great try after a break and offload from Wynand Olivier, who had been set free by Trinh-Duc.

The Montpol playmaker added the extras to leave the scores at 13-10 which is was how it would stay until the break thanks to a try-saving tackle from Montpellier full-back Pierre Berard on Grosso just before the half-time hooter.

Kockott's third penalty stretched the gap to six points shortly after the restart but the Montpellier setpiece began to gain the upper hand and Trinh-Duc was able to reply with two of his own to level the scores at 16-16 on the hour mark.

The battle of the place-kickers continued, swapping penalties as the teams entered the final ten minutes all-square.

Talès had an opportunity to win the game with a drop goal from right in front in the final minute, but sent his effort well wide.

The game went into extra time and Castres were again denied a match-winning try when Timoci Nagusa dislodged the ball from the gasp of Remi Lamerat as the centre crossed.

But veteran Fijian centre Seremaia Bai slotted a drop just before the end of the first additional 10-minute half to put Castres ahead - for good this time - by the narrowest of margins.

Kockott missed with a penalty attempt a minute into the second period and despite Montpellier twice having the opportunity to take advantage of five metres scrums, Castres came away with the ball to seal their third play-off win over Montpellier in as many years.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Try: Ranger
Cons: Trinh-Duc
Pens: Trinh-Duc 3
Drop: Trinh-Duc
Yellow card: Ranger

For Castres:
Try: Claassen
Con: Kockott
Pens: Kockott 4
Drop: Bai
Yellow card: Grosso

Montpellier: 15 Pierre Berard, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Jonathan Pelissie, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Lucas Dupont , 22 Anthony Floch, 23 Paea Fa'anunu.

Castres:15 Brice Dulin, 14 Remy Grosso, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Max Evans , 10 Remi Tales, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Yannick Forestier .
Replacements: 16 Mathieu Bonello, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Jan Bornman, 20 Cedric Garcia, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Seremaia Bai, 23 Mihaita Lazar.

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy (Grand Stade de Lille)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720