Montpellier to meet Harlequins in final

Date published: April 23 2016

Montpellier are through to the Challenge Cup Final after defeating Newport Gwent Dragons 22-12 at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

Jake White's side progressed thanks to a try in the second half from Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis and 14 points from the boot of Demetri Catrakilis.

Dragons to their credit never lay down, responding to a 22-0 deficit by scoring two tries in the second half through Wales winger Hallam Amos and full-back Carl Meyer, but the result proved beyond them.

Montpellier will now meet Harlequins, who they faced twice in the pool stages, in the Challenge Cup Final in Lyon on Friday, May 13.

After a scoreless opening quarter Catrakilis landed his first penalty from out on the left to put Montpellier ahead, following it up with a second effort seven minutes later after the Dragons were penalised for not releasing on the ground.

The former Stormers number ten was on song again in the 33rd minute, again from the left, to make it 9-0.

Scrum-half Benoît Paillaugue took over for Montpellier's next points as he struck a further three points from 48 metres out, giving the hosts a commanding lead at 12-0 with the Dragons still in the contest.

The kicking duties returned to Catrakilis on 55 minutes as he added a fourth penalty shortly before the game's first try.

Du Plessis held his position at the tail of the maul before powering over a metre from the try line, with Catrakilis converting to make it 22-0.

Credit to the Dragons for refusing to go away, and they responded immediately after Meyer did well to recover the ball from the restart. Wales star Taulupe Faletau then set up Amos to finish in the corner, with the Dragons unable to convert but at last on the board.

Time however was against the PRO12 side and despite an impressive long-range try in the closing stages, finished off by Meyer after he broke a tackle, they were unable to complete a comeback as Montpellier advanced.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Try: B du Plessis
Con: Catrakilis
Pens: Catrakilis 4, Paillaugue

For Dragons:
Tries: Amos, Meyer
Con: O'Brien

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Benoît Paillaugue, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Robins Tchale Watchou, 3 Jannie Du Plessis, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Thibaut Privat, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 21 Nic White, 22 Benjamin Lucas, 23 Anthony Tuitavke

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Jack Dixon

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle (England), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)