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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00