Toulon lose 34-13 against Montpellier
Rugby Club Toulonnais lost 34-13 in the away game against Montpellier, in difficult playing conditions, on Sunday, December 16th, on day 4 of the Champions Cup. Montpellier picked up a bonus point and qualification remains possible for them.
Toulon needed a win and started the game quite well, as François Trinh-Duc scored a penalty. However, things became quite complicated for our men in red and black in the first half, as they could not get their hands on the ball. On their first dangerous move, Montpellier advanced and, after Louis Picamoles pierced through the Toulon backline, the ball went to the other side, enabling Jean Serfontein to score a try. The Toulon players lacked speed in the first half and made too many mistakes: at the 35th minute, this led to a second Montpellier try through Henry Immelman. The home side was then leading 15-3. As the siren blew, François Trinh-Duc scored another penalty and Toulon were only trailing by nine points. But, in difficult conditions, Montpellier logically led at half-time, taking advantage of two dangerous situations to score. Toulon had not had any real opportunity and seemed to be overwhelmed by the strength of the home side.
It was the same story for the visiting team when the game resumed. Toulon were sloppy when they handled the ball and struggled in the scrum: in less than ten minutes, Montpellier scored two other tries through Vincent Giudicelli and Ruan Pienaar, which gave them a bonus point. Our men in red and black did not give up and, shortly before an hour had been played, Mamuka Gorgodze — a former Montpellier player — powered through the home team’s backline to score a try. Toulon were then trailing 29-13.
Despite appropriate substitutions and good intentions, Toulon could not take advantage of opportunities, as they took wrong decisions and committed too many individual mistakes in the second half. Montpellier adapted better to the playing conditions and were rewarded with a fifth try at the last minute, scored by former Toulon player Levan Chilachava.
Montpellier thus won 34-13 and can still hope to qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition. As for Toulon, they will play a crucial Top 14 home game against Lyon next Saturday, December 22nd.