Planet Rugby

Preview: Castres v Montpellier

10th May 2013 11:20

Share:

Castres Ibrahim Diarra try v montpellier 2011

Familiar play-off foes: Castres host Montpellier

Montpellier face Castres in the Top 14 play-offs for the third consecutive year when they travel to Stade Pierre-Antoine on Saturday.

It's almost a year since Montpellier slumped to a 31-15 defeat to Castres in the 2012 play-offs (in Toulouse) and this weekend's visitors to the Tarn have already spoken of their desire to erase the memories of that heavy loss.

It was Montpellier, however, who claimed the spoils at this venue in 2011 (18-17), before going on to lose narrowly to Toulouse in the final.

This is also the third time these teams will face off this season, with Castres having won 26-20 on home soil when they last met in March, while Montpellier were 19-12 victors on the Mediterranean coast in September.

Castres have qualified for the play-offs every year since their introduction in 2010 but have only made it to the semi-finals once, losing to Toulouse last year.

We could be in for an open game as Montpellier are one of the most adventurous teams in the Top 14 and will be forced to open up against a Castres side notorious for their ability to grind out tight results based on a no-frills approach and accurate goal kickers. Castres also have quality wings, who will be a threat on the counter attack if Montpellier get sloppy.

Castres have been almost unbeatable at home this season, losing just one game - 18-16 to Toulouse back in December.

CO's game will revolved around scrum-half Rory Kockott, who is their top points and try scorer this season, while Montpellier will look to France fly-half François Trinh-Duc to unleash their attack. Keep an eye on Montpellier wing Timoci Nagusa, who has scored seven tries this term.

Montpellier have named Georgian loose forward Mamuka Gorgodze in the second-row to accommodate Alexandre Bias on the flank. Kiwi wing Taleta Tupuola is on the wing, preferred ahead of Martin Bustos Moyano while Jonny Beattie must settled for a place on the bench.

Castres hooker Mathieu Bonello faces a fitness test on Friday after suffering concussion in last week's narrow loss to Racing Metro.

The teams:

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Paul Bonnefond, 12 Seremaia Baï, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Remi Talès, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antoine Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jan de bruin Bornman, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Mathieu Bonello, 17 Mihaïta Lazar, 18 Matthias Rolland, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Romain Teulet, 23 Michael Coetzee.

Montpellier: 15 Benoît Sicart, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Taleta Tupuola, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Mickael De Marco, 19 Johnnie Beattie, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Hamish Gard, 22 Martin Bustos Moyano, 23 Vincent Pelo.

Date: Saturday, May 11
Venue: Stade Pierre-Antoine, Castres
Kick-off: 14.40 (12.40 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
Saturday , May 3
Toulouse vs Grenoble15:00
Toulon vs Stade Francais15:00
Montpellier vs Racing Metro Paris15:00
More Top 14 fixtures
  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , April 12
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Friday , April 11
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
Saturday , April 5
Oyonnax 26 - 12 Bordeaux-BeglesOyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
Saturday , March 29
Stade Francais 22 - 32 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Oyonnax 40 - 13 Grenoble
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Montpellier2470
2Toulon2469
3Clermont Auvergne2469
4Racing Metro Paris2465
5Toulouse2462