Montpellier edge out Leinster

Date published: October 23 2016

A brace by Nemani Nadolo helped Montpellier hold on for a 22-16 Champions Cup victory over Leinster on Sunday.

The tension of another huge Champions Cup afternoon was lightened significantly in the build up, as both sets of supporters and players came together prior to kick-off in a wonderful ovation for Anthony Foley, transforming a minute's silence into a chorus of applause. 

It was a tight opening start, with Leinster arguably having the better of a scoreless opening 10 minutes. Montpellier almost opened the scoring on 17 minutes, going through a series of phases before the visitors were finally able to win possession back and turn over the best move of the game. 

Montpellier's Francois Steyn had the first kicking opportunity of the afternoon, but saw his effort cannon back off the post. Nacewa kicked through the opening three though soon after that miss, Leinster taking a three point lead more than halfway through the first half. But they weren't able to kick on, as Montpellier scored the first try just minutes after going behind. 

A turnover in midfield saw Martin claim the ball and foray forward with the Leinster defence unable to catch the Frenchman. Steyn kicked safely through this time and had another two points to his name before the break. 

Leinster seemed to lose their way in the latter stages of the half, and after switching play from right to left, the hulking figure of Nadolo barraged his way over the line. Steyn's two made it a 14-3 lead at the break. 

The Montpellier 10 stretched the advantage after the break with his second penalty, though Nacewa did immediately wipe out that score. But hopes of a comeback for Leinster faded away after Rob Kearney was shown a yellow for obstruction, coming only moments after some fantastic defending that stopped the hosts getting their third try. 

The man advantage paid off after just three minutes, as Montpellier did get their third try and sealed the game. Nadolo intercepted the ball metres from the Leinster line and powered his way over for his second of the afternoon, although Steyn missed the conversion attempt. 

Nacewa got another three points for Leinster, but they were unable to turn promising positions into tries, stopped short of the line on a series of occasions. They did finally get a try late on though, courtesy of Nacewa. A scrum saw the back go over and convert, securing a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Montpellier
Martin, Nadolo 2
Cons: Steyn 2 
Pen: Steyn 

For Leinster
Try: Nacewa
Con: Nacewa
Pens: Nacewa 3

Montpellier: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Marvin O'Connor, 13 Vincent Martin, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Nic White, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Jacques Du Plessis, 3 Jannie Du Plessis, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Yvan Watremez
Replacements: 16 Romain Ruffenach, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Nicholaas Van Rensburg, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Jesse Mogg

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Zane Kirchner, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Isa Nacewa (c), 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 James Tracy, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Dan Leavy, 22 Jamison Gibson-Park, 23 Joey Carbery

Date: Sunday, October 23
Venue: Altrad Stadium
Kick-off: 14:00 local (12:00 GMT) 
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest (England), Paul Burton (England)
TMO: Jean-Pierre Pellaprat (France)