In Friday's Top 14 match Montpellier beat Stade Français 38-6 at Stade Yves du Manoir in Montpellier. The victory with a try bonus point has sent Montpellier leaping up the ladder.
The club, which early in the competition was bottom of the log, is now fourth. That may be temporary as the other 12 sides have yet to play this weekend but it does mean that they are above Stade Français who were three places above them in fifth place.
In a match of many penalties, the Parisians scored first through a penalty, one of a multitude at the tackle. Montpellier's tackling and its competition at the breakdown were fierce but they were much penalised. Julien Dupuy kicked the first penalty, but it was a sign of Montpellier's domination that accurate Martín Bustos Moyano missed three long-range kicks before goaling one when lively centre Thomas Combezou was played without the ball. Combezou and Mamuka Gorgodze were a particular handful for Stade Français throughout the match.
Bustos Moyano kicked Montpellier into the lead and then strange circumstances produced an brilliant but unlikely try for Montpellier.
From the penalty Felipe Contepomi's kick-off was short. They led to a scrum in midfield, at which Montpellier were penalised. From the middle of the half-way line Dupuy kicked at goal. His kick hit the upright and slipped off into in-goal where Timoci Nagusa grounded the ball and threw it up to François Trinh-Duc. Quickly Trinh-Duc dropped out to the right. Nagusa caught the ball on the full and raced downfield. He gave to Combezou who gave to Fulgence Ouedraogo who gave to Bustos Moyano who scored behind the posts.
This meant that MontpellieR's led 13-3 at half-time.
Early in the second half Bustos Moyano stretched the lead to 16-3 for a tackle at a penalty and then both sides suffered sin-binning. First a nonplussed Gorgodze was reported by the assistant referee for stamping and then Gerhard Mostert joined him for playing Ouedraogo without the ball.
Dupuy goaled from in front - 16-6 with 20 minutes to go and then two bits of Trinh-Duc magic produced exciting tries.
Montpellier attacked through many phases till Trinh-Duc chipped and Paul Bosch grabbed and scored, causing an uncontrolled outburst of glee for his coach Fabien Galthié.
Montpellier came close to scoring twice. First Combezou intercepted and only a desperate lunge by Paul Sackey stopped Nagusa from scoring in the corner. Montpellier kicked a penalty our for a five-metre scrum and Alex Tulou peeled round the front. The TMO was unsure and so a five-metre scrum resulted as Montpellier fought for their third try and a bonus point.
Ouedraogo won a Stade Français line-out and again Montpellier attacked through phases. Again Trinh-Duc chipped delicately and Nagusa caught the ball on the full for an unchallenged try. 31-6 with four minutes to go.
Stade Français were desperate to deny Montpellier a bonus point but their hands let them down and Trinh-Duc flykicked ahead. Sergio Parisse could not gather the ball and it popped up for Benoît Paillaugue who gave to Bustos Moyano who scored. Paillaugue converted and the final whistle went.
The whole of Montpellier rejoiced noisily.
Tries: Bustos Moyano 2, Bosch, Nagusa
Cons: Bustos Moyano 2, Paillaugue
Pens: Bustos Moyano 4
For Stade Français:
Pens: Dupuy 2
Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Martín Bustos Moyano, 10 François Trinh-Duc (captain), 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Masini Matadigo, 7 Rémy Martin, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Mamuka Gorgodze, 4 Drikus Hancke, 3 George Jgenti, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Michael Ladhuie, 17 Juan Figallo, 18 Alikisio Fakate, 19 Alex Tulou, 20 Benoît Paillaugue, 21 Santiago Fernandez, 22 Yoan Audrin, 23 Maximiliano Bustos
Stade Français: 15 Paul Warwick, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Paul Williams, 12 Martin Rodriguez, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Pierre Rabadan, 6 David Lyons, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 David Attoub, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Rodrigo Roncero
Replacements: 16 Aled De Malmanche, 17 Olivier Milloud, 18 Alexandre Flanquart, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Byron Kelleher, 21 Morgan Turinui, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Stanley Wright.
Referee: Jean-Luc Rebollal
Assistant referees: Patrick Pechambert, Laurent Sclafer
Television match official: Gérard Borreani
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