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European Challenge Cup: Bath 10-19 Montpellier – French defence blunts English final hopes

Yacouba Camara’s try build Montpellier into a 23rd-minute lead and Bathtub trailed from then on
Bathtub: (10) 10
Tries: Dunn Cons: Spencer Pens: Spencer
Montpellier: (16) 19
Tries: Camara Cons: Paillague Pens: Paillaugue 3, Pollard

Montpellier produced a amazing 2d-half defensive level to to reach serve far off from Bathtub with a 19-10 preserve in their European Topic Cup semi-final.

Tom Dunn’s early Bathtub try was once cancelled out by a Yacouba Camara earn because the French aspect led within the first half.

Bathtub failed to pick out a group of magnificent probabilities on the Montpellier line with the French aspect diminished to 14 men for a period after the smash.

Handre Pollard’s closing-2d penalty ensured the preserve for the French aspect.

Montpellier will play Leicester within the final at Twickenham on Friday, 21 Would possibly perhaps perhaps additionally after the Tigers beat Ulster 33-24 on Friday night time.

The ball was once within the Montpellier 22 for 29% of the 2d half, nonetheless over and once more Bathtub’s errors and Montpellier’s defensive excellence stopped the English aspect from making a valuable European final since 2014.

Bathtub had made their intentions acknowledged straight away as two tag downs forced a Montpellier line-out on their very receive five metre line which Alexandre Becognee knocked on, and a few phases later Dunn went over from conclude vary for the opening try.

Early on, Bathtub’s tactical kicking game was once very perfect and they were aggressive on the breakdown in opposition to a extremely nice French aspect, nonetheless their discipline began to desert them as Montpellier began to pick out dispute – Benoit Paillaugue landed a 20th-minute penalty either aspect of a pair of three-level misses for the French aspect.

British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland was once staring on the likes of Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson and Sam Underhill sooner than next week’s squad announcement for the South Africa tour

Scrum-half Paillaugue’s dinked kick space up Vincent Rattez who build Camara in for his aspect’s sole try sooner than Ben Spencer replied with a penalty for Bathtub.

Paillaugue kicked two extra penalties for a six-level lead on the smash and hit the put up 10 minutes after the restart with one other try.

Bathtub in the end got some offensive momentum five minutes later with a form of phases on the Montpellier line – after three penalties prop Enzo Forletta was once sin-binned, nonetheless Bathtub might perhaps perhaps now not turn the stress on the company’ line into a earn.

Bathtub’s line-out was once depressed as any magnificent they did was once immediately thrown away whereas Montpellier made predominant defensive beneficial properties on the breakdown at key moments sooner than South Africa flee-half Pollard – who came on instead choice to his first look since rupturing knee ligaments in October – confirmed their development to the final along with his boring penalty.

A crowd of 10,000 will abet the final on 21 Would possibly perhaps perhaps additionally following the choice to transfer every the Champions Cup and Topic Cup finals to Twickenham from Marseille thanks to the affect of Covid-19.

Bathtub director of rugby Stuart Hooper informed BBC Radio Bristol:

“I believed we had a huge initiate, nonetheless in the end we were incorrect after that.

“We lost a group of space pieces after which didn’t convert when we got conclude to the toll road.

“Our lineout’s one thing which has functioned with out a doubt successfully for us over the closing 18 months, so it wasn’t an spectacular day in that regard, nonetheless it with out a doubt’s now not one thing which we have considered sooner than.

“Credit ranking to them, it was once four visits within the 2d half and we didn’t reach up with any sides and that’s telling.

“The lineout losses and the turnovers on the breakdown by the center third of the field with out a doubt injure us.”

Bathtub: Watson; Cokanasiga, Joseph, Redpath, Muir; Bailey, Spencer; Schoeman, Dunn, Stuart, McNally, Ewels (capt), Faletau, Underhill, Mercer

Replacements: Walker, Bhatti, Thomas, Stooke, Bayliss, Reid, Chudley, Clark

Montpellier: Bouthier; Tisseron, Goosen, Vincent, Rattez; Lozowski, Paillaugue; Forletta, Guirado (capt), Haouas, Verhaeghe, Willemse, Janse van Rensburg, Camara, Becognee

Replacements: Du Plessis, Fichten, Lamositele, Duguid, Ouedraogo, Reinach, Pollard, Martin

Referee: Andrew Brace (Eire).

Contact judges: Frank Murphy (Eire), Chris Busby (Eire).

TMO: Brian MacNeice (Eire).

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