Planet Rugby

Montpellier out-power beleaguered Bristol

10th October 2008 19:49

Share:

Robinson try v Montpellier

Perfect start: Robinson scores inside a minute

Montpellier opened their European Challenge Cup account with a 33-15 victory as they beat an under-strength Bristol at Stade Yves du Manoir on Friday.

Unlike other French sides who have opted to blood second-string talent for the European competition, the Montpol coaching team named a host of internationals in their starting line-up while Richard Hill utilised his squad following a poor domestic season's start.

Yet it was the visitors who started the match by far the healthier as on minute one an opportunist break from Tom Arscott saw full-back Vunga Lilo enter the attack at pace before handing out for Lee Robinson to cross in the corner.

However, that almost immediate lead was cut to two points when imperious goal-kicker Fédérico Todeschini sent over a penalty before a clinical series of attacks looked to stir the hosts into life.

But against the run of play, Bristol hit back with a free-flowing move that started from their own 22.

This time veteran centre Kevin Maggs broke out before passing to partner Greg Barden, who made the right call by offloading without forcing the play, allowing 21-year-old Iain Greave to crash over - the scores now 3-12 in a remarkable opening.

Finally, on thirteen minutes the sparse home crowd had something to cheer and bang their drums about as a smart backs move came right for France hopeful Francois Trinh-Duc to slide in and cut the gap - Todeschini's sublime conversion adding the extras.

And that was the perfect tonic for Montpellier as their powerful loose forward Mamuka Gorgodze continued his strong showing by barging off Barden 20 metres from the whitewash.

The Georgian then drew the final defender before slipping a ball to scoring wing Thierry Brana, which moved Montpellier ahead at 17-15 on 23 minutes before a lean spell saw a Todeschini penalty the only other action before half-time.

The Argentine kept the scoreboard ticking over on 50 minutes with another sweetly-struck penalty goal as all of Bristol's early fire seemed to have been extinguished.

Hill's side found themselves even further behind four minutes later with another Puma place kick hurting what now seemed a losing bonus-point cause as sustained home territory began to tell.

And with Justin Marshall organising the power of replacement Philémon Toleafoa and, of course, Gorgodze around the fringes, their third try surely wasn't too far in coming.

So it proved as substitute hooker Mickael Ladhuie touched down for an opportunist score with six minutes remaining to liven up what was a fragmented second period.

However, the bonus-point win did not come for the Top 14 outfit as Bristol were left counting the loss of finisher Arscott due to a neck injury, which adds to their worrying run of thirteen games without a win.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:

Tries: Trinh-Duc, Brana, Ladhuie

Con: Todeschini 3

Pen: Todeschini 4

For Bristol:

Tries: Robinson, Grieve

Con: Jarvis

Pen: Jarvis

Montpellier: 15 Francois Trinh-Duc, 14 Jean-Matthieu Alcalde, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Sylvain Mirande, 11 Thierry Brana, 10 Fédérico Todeschini, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze, 7 Jérome Vallée, 6 Warren Britz, 5 Drickus Hancke, 4 Michel Macurdy, 3 Clément Baïocco, 2 Fabien Rofes, 1 Sébastien Petit.

Replacements: 16 Mickael Ladhuie, 17 Pieter Van Niekerk, 18 Philémon Toleafoa, 19 Benjamin Goze, 20 Vassili Bost, 21 Adrien Tomas, 22 Olivier Sarraméa.

Bristol: 15 Vunga Lilo, 14 Lee Robinson, 13 Greg Barden, 12 Kevin Maggs, 11 Tom Arscott, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Iain Grieve, 7 Redford Pennycook, 6 Matt Salter, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Mariano Sambucetti, 3 Peter Bracken, 2 David Blaney, 1 Mark Irish.

Replacements: 16 Mark Regan, 17 Alex Clarke, 18 Dave Attwood, 19 James Phillips, 20 Graeme Beveridge, 21 Chris Ashwin, 22 Neil Brew.

Referee: Andy McPherson (Scotland)

Touch judges: David Changleng (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)

Television match official: Iain Heard (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954