Aprasidze regaled with the foot, Serfontein goalkeeper of the Montpellier temple, Trinh-Duc and Picamoles KO against their training club… The Tops and Flops of the Montpellier victory against UBB (19-10).
Aprasidze the unexpected hero
The young scrum-half from Montpellier is the hero of this Top 14 semi-final won this Saturday in Nice by the MHR, against Union Bordeaux-Bègles (19-10). The 24-year-old Georgia international entered the game in the 66th minute. Three minutes later, with UBB starting to push and Montpellier leading by just 3 points, he attempted a penalty from 55 yards slightly to the left and nailed it to give his side a 6-point lead. At the very end of the match, Aprasidze places a new penalty at 45 meters to send the MHR to the Stade de France. Unfailing precision and composure. On the last day of Top 14, he had already saved the MHR by scoring the last try of the match against Clermont to avoid the play-offs at the Hérault club. The X factor at the end of the Montpellier season.
Serfontein reigned supreme
The 3/4 center of Montpellier was the guardian of the temple and the state of mind which animated the Héraultais in this semi-final. Intractable in defense, the men of Philippe Saint-André could count on Jan Serfontein was on all fronts. He fought a huge battle against Moefana and Seuteni, winning his duels almost every time. From the start of the match, the South African was on fire with a big tackle on Romain Buros who lost the ball, which brought Rattez’s Montpellier try in stride. Serfontein was replaced in the 71st minute after 8 tackles and an enormous self-sacrifice which was of paramount importance for his training.
Montpellier joins Castres in the final
The MHR will challenge Castres at the Stade de France on Friday in the Top 14 final after their 16-10 victory over UBB. The Montpellier who fought for their survival in the elite last season reach the final of the Top 14 a year later. This is the 9th final phase for Montpellier in the last 11 editions of the championship, proof of the regularity of the club at the highest level. During the final on Friday, it will be the 7th time that Montpellier and Castres face each other in the final phase. Philippe Saint-André’s men will try to win the first Shield of Brennus in the history of the club after failing in 2018 against … Castres.
Painful end clap for Trinh-Duc and Picamoles
The two UBB players put an end to their career on a failure difficult to cash. In the shadow of Jalibert this season, François Trinh-Duc came into play during this semi-final and brought punch to his team but that was not enough against the solid Montpellier defense. Louis Picamoles also entered in the second half and gave of his person allowing some progress to his team. Unfortunately, the career of the two former French internationals came to a halt at the gates of the final as they fell to Montpellier, their training club.
Seuteni to absent subscribers
Ulupano Seuteni went through his semi-final. Very discreet or even ghostly on the offensive level in the first act, he is however at the origin of the first try of his team with a good defense which allows a turnover. Thereafter not much and sometimes lacked the drive to provide support in the offensive phases.
Nightmarish end to season for UBB
The Bordelais missed their match against Montpellier and stopped once again in the semi-finals, like last year. Maintained in the match thanks to a try from Jalibert (16th), the UBB was only an illusion and failed to develop its rugby on the lawn of the Alianz Riviera. Finally beaten 19-10 by an MHR all in control, the Aquitaine end the season in water sausage. Despite a great first part of the season where they held the championship lead for a long time, Woki’s teammates completely collapsed in the final sprint. Disastrous second half of the season, failure in the semi-finals, tensions between manager Christophe Urios and his executives… We will have to learn the lessons of this new failure.
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