The main reactions after Montpellier vs Toulon
Here are the main reactions after the 43-20 defeat of our men in red and black against Montpellier, last Sunday, on Day 4 of the Top 14.
Vern Cotter, Montpellier manager: “It’s not easy to play games like these. For 60-65 minutes, the balance could have tipped one way or the other. I’m happy it eventually tipped our way, but there are plenty of things to work on for the next game. Yes, the yellow card was the turning point and I think our kicking provided quite a relief but, to be honest, it was a complicated game. Sometimes, we make a rod for our own back and we have to correct this.”
Nemani Nadolo, Montpellier wing: “We’re a very good pre-season preparation and, now, we’re reaping the benefits of it. We play as a team, everyone works for everyone and it pays off, as we’ve now won four games in a row. Against Toulon, we eventually made the difference in the last fifteen minutes and that’s what we can really learn from this game. Last year, we were not always able to do this. We’ll find a similar level of playing in the European Cup and I’m very satisfied we could meet the challenge.”
Fabien Galthié, Toulon manager: “Many things eventually played against us: the yellow card, the penalty try, the injuries successively picked up by the fly-half and the centres. We were trailing by four points, we could have closed the gap to one. We were well into the game, but it then took on a different turn. We’ll have to get over this and analyse everything. Unexpected events always play a part in games and there were many this time. On top of it, we were up against a very solid team. We couldn’t impose our rhythm and, as a consequence we couldn’t control the game. On the contrary, Montpellier managed to handle the game quite well.”
Hugo Bonneval, Toulon fullback: “When a team scores forty points against you, you just shut up and you bend your head. It’s a heavy defeat and we have no excuses. True, we played for sixty minutes, but a game lasts eighty minutes. We were punished for our mistakes: it was difficult to move forward and we struggled on the rucks. The difference between the two teams really told tonight.”
Jean Monribot, Toulon flanker: “It’s difficult to take such a defeat. In the second half, we were booked and we lost Ma’a [Nonu]. We had to adapt, some players did not play at their usual position and… we paid for it. Do we lack certainties? I don’t know, but we’re not going to hide behind this all the time. We have to take our responsibilities and correct our individual mistakes. We had a good team spirit against Montpellier, we wanted to do well, but we can’t repeat so many mistakes. We’ll have to ask ourselves questions: even if we start the season with a new game plan, you can’t afford to lose time in the Top 14. All I can tell you is that we believe in the game plan and in the style we want to play. I think we’re on the right track.”
François Trinh-Duc, Toulon fly-half: “I think the score does not reflect the difference between the two teams. We fell apart towards the end and Montpellier could show all their abilities. That’s a pity. Of course, we’re disappointed, we were eventually no match for Montpellier, but we’ll continue our work to make up for our drawbacks. The lack of discipline has been our main weakness since the season started. We’ve already paid a high price for it. We’re going to examine our weaknesses, the lack of discipline, the way we handle the ball. As far as I’m concerned, I tried to concentrate on my game rather than on what was at stake. I heard the applause of the public and it warmed my heart.”
Sources: after-game mixed zone and press conference, lequipe.fr, rugbyrama.fr.