Gloucester too good for Montpellier
MATCH REPORT: Gloucester kept their Champions Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a 29-6 bonus-point win over Montpellier in Pool 5 on Saturday at Kingsholm.
After a quiet opening 20 minutes, the hosts were pinged for holding on at the breakdown and that allowed Francois Steyn the chance to put Montpellier ahead from the kicking tee and he did just that with the opening three-pointer.
Gloucester had to wait till six minutes before the interval to break down the stubborn Montpellier defence. It was Louis Rees-Zammit who took advantage of holes in the line and handed a delicious offload to Willi Heinz who sauntered over at the posts.
The second half was much more fruitful for the hosts, first running in a try through Rees-Zammit who was on the end of a nice move after a flick wide from Jason Woodward.
After that slick move, it would be powerful work from the forwards that gave Gloucester the crucial bonus point.
Ben Morgan was the first to go over on 57 minutes after a host of bruising phases battered the fractured Montpellier line.
And the fourth score came eight minutes later when the hosts worked the driving maul to perfection, with Todd Gleave under a pile of players.
That result eliminates Montpellier but gives Gloucester a chance of qualification with a trip to Pool 5 winners Toulouse next weekend in Round 6.
Tries: Heinz, Rees-Zammit, Morgan, Gleave
Cons: Twelvetrees 3
Pens: Steyn, Darmon
Yellow card: Paul Willemse (Montpellier, 64)
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Ciaran Knight, 2 Todd Gleave, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Owen Williams
Montpellier: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 Calum Randle, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Henry Immelman, 10 Thomas Darmon, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Jacques du Plessis, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Kelian Galletier (captain), 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Vincent Giudicelli, 1 Usha Tcheisvhili
Replacements: 16 Youri Delhommel, 17 Luka Azariashvili, 18 Valentin Seille, 19 Kevin Kornath, 20 Gela Aprasidze, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Théo Layglon, 23 Paul Willemse
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)
Will they sneak through?? pic.twitter.com/zY1Vib9DrR
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 11, 2020