Wallaby's double sinks Montpellier
MATCH REPORT: Toulouse made it four wins from four but had to wait until the dying seconds to clinch a 26-18 success over Montpellier in Pool 5 of the Champions Cup at the Altrad Stadium.
The home side were desperate for their second win and pushed the visitors all the way. They trailed only 18-21 going into a tense finale before replacement Lucas Tauzin struck with seconds remaining in the corner to secure victory for Toulouse.
The game started in dramatic fashion when Montpellier’s star forward Louis Picamoles was carried off on a stretcher after an innocuous-looking incident which saw his knee buckle.
Montpellier recovered well from the big setback and dominated the opening exchanges but Toulouse broke out in devastating fashion on 15 minutes when a six-man handling move created the opening for flyhalf Romain Ntamack to sprint over, adding to the two tries he scored in last week’s clash between the sides.
Montpellier were in the fight though and were rewarded when flank Fulgence Ouedraogo was on hand to touchdown after good work by Thomas Darmon and Johan Goosen’s conversion drew them level.
Two Goosen penalties put the home side ahead but the home flyhalf then put a foot in touch as he fielded a kick close to his own line and Toulouse took advantage with a quickly taken line-out which resulted in Wallabies second-rower Rory Arnold plunging over to give his side a 14-13 half-time advantage.
Man of the match Arnold added a second try after the break but Montpellier were right back in it on the hour when winger Nemani Nadolo stretched out to score in the corner and cut Toulouse’s lead to only three point before Tauzin’s late hammer blow.
Montpellier visit Gloucester in their next Pool 5 contest on Saturday, January 11 while Toulouse visit Connacht the same afternoon.
Tries: Ouedraogo, Nadolo
Pens: Goosen 2
Tries: Ntamack, Arnold 2, Tauzin
Cons: Ramos 3
Montpellier: 15 Thomas Darmon, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Louis Picamoles (captain), 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Grégory Fichten.
Replacements: 16 Youri Delhommel, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Antoine Guillamon, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Kevin Kornath, 22 Jan Serfontein, 23 Julien Le Devedec.
Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Selevasio Tolofua, 7 Francois Cros, 6 Jerome Kaino (captain), 5 Richie Gray, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Paulo Tafili, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Clément Castets, 18 Maks Van Dyk, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Pierre Pages, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Lucas Tauzin.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Aled Evans (Wales)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)