Planet Rugby

Preview: Castres v Montpellier

10th May 2013 11:20

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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 , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
Saturday , September 13
Toulon vs Stade Francais18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Lyon18:00
La Rochelle vs Castres18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
Saturday , August 23
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon39
2Toulouse39
3Montpellier39
4Clermont Auvergne39
5Bordeaux-Begles38