Sunday, May 29, 2011

Montpellier into first ever Top 14 Final

History was made in Marseilles on Saturday afternoon as mediteranean French side Montpellier booked its place in the Top 14 Final for the first time in history by defeating Racing Metro 26-25 in a battle of epic proportions. The hero? None other than a player from the Argentine city of Córdoba who kicked Montpellier into the Tóp 14 final in dramatic fashion after slotting a penalty goal in the 79th minute which gave Montpellier a one point victory. The player is yet to make his senior debut for Argentina but is certain to be selected for Rugby World Cup 2011 and to do so ahead of a number of players who have been playing wing for Argentina in recent years. 25 year old Martín Javier Bustos Moyano played for Argentina vs Chile in 2008 in a match in which the entire squad of Pumas was amateur. he was a part of the Pumas squads to tour Europe in 2009 and 2010 but did not play. Bustos Moyano scored 16 of Montpellier´s 26 points.

The match started with Racing Metro on top as the Parisians played a great first 10 minutes and went ahead 3-0 with a long range penalty to South African international François Steyn. With hooker Fabien Rofes yellowcarded in the thirteenth minutes signs were ominous for Montpellier but French flyhalf, Johnathan Wisniewski had a forgetable performance with the boot as he let Montpellier off the hook on several occassions. The scores were leveled in the 12th minute with Bustos Moyano slotting his first penalty before he traded penalties with Wisniewski to make it 6-6 in the 18th minute. By now, Montpellier were having the better of play and they took their chance in the 32nd minute when centre Sylvain Mirande crossed for the games first try. With Bustos Moyano adding the extras Montpellier went into the interval leading 13-6.

In the first minute of the second half Argentine international centre Santiago Fernández put Montpellier in total control as he crossed for his sides second try which put Montpellier 20-6 ahead following Bustos Moyano´s successful conversion. Bustos Moyano slotted a penalty in the 50th minute but Racing Metro showed true fighting sprit and fought back strongly. Fijian international winger, Sireli Bobo scored the Parisians first try in the 51st minute and the game was turned on its head immediately thereafter as French international flyhalf, François Trinh-Duc was yellow carded. Nerves kicked in for Montpellier and Racing Metro took firm control of the match while Montpellier made a number of substitutions. With twenty minutes left on the clock Wisniewski scored a converted try to cut Montpellier´s lead to 23-18. Racing Metro then made three substitutions including replacing Benjamin Sa with Argentine tighthead prop Juan Orlandi. With six minutes remaining in the match Racing Metro took the lead following a 74th minute converted try to replacement backrower, Jone Qovu of Fiji.

It appeared as if Racing Metro had ended Montpellier´s quest to reach the final but Córdoba´s Martín Bustos Moyano stepped up to slot a 79th minute penalty to regain the lead. Racing Metro had a late chance to secure victory as Wisniewski attempted a drop goal but it was unsuccessful and fullback Benjamin Thiéry brought the game to a close as he kicked the ball out of play to the applause of a packed Stade Velodrome. Ther result means the Top 14 Orange will to be played on June 04 will be contested between 17 time champion Toulouse and the major underdog, Montpellier.

Racing Metro´s season is now over and a number of players will now go away to train with the national squad ahead of New Zealand 2011. Orlandi and his Racing Metro colleague, Alvaro Galindo, who started in the 7 shirt in the semi final loss will both be in Argentina´s squad to take on the French Barbarians. So global is the Top 14 that in addition to the Fijian pair of Bobo and Qovu, Racing Metro also had South Africans in Jacques Cronje and François Steyn and New Zealander Johnny Leo'o. Montpellier had three Pumas in the starting lineup with Bustos Moyano and Fernández being joined by Pumas prop Juan Figallo who had another impressive match as he pushes Rodrigo Roncero and Marcos Ayerza for the Argentina loosehead prop position. Montpellier also had two Georgian internationals in the starting XV with Giorgi Jgenti playing with Figallo in the frontrow and Mamuka Gorgodze, who put in a standout performance in the backrow. South African, Dirkus Hancke started in the secondrow while the Fijian duo of Timoci Nagasa and Masi Matadigo started at wing and number.


15 Benjamin Thiery
14 Timoci Nagusa (Fiji)
13 Sylvain Mirande
12 Santiago Fernandez (Argentina)
11 Martín Bustos Moyano (Argentina)
10 Francois Trinh-Duc
9 Julien Tomas
8 Masi Matadigo (Fiji)
7 Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia)
6 Fulgence Ouedraogo
5 Aliki Fakate
4 Dirkus Hancke (South Africa)
3 Giorgi Jgenti (Georgia)
2 Fabien Rofes
1 Juan Figallo (Argentina)

Racing Metro

15 Benjamin Fall
14 Sireli Bobo (Fiji)
13 Henry Chavancy
12 Frans Steyn (South Africa)
11 Julien Saubade
10 Jonathan Wisniewski
9 Mathieu Loree
8 Jacques Cronje (South Africa)
7 Alvaro Galindo (Argentina)
6 Johnny Leo'o (New Zealand)
5 Lionel Nallet
4 Karim Ghezal
3 Benjamin Salemane Sa
2 Benjamin Noirot
1 Julien Brugnaut

Highlights in French

Rugby : Montpellier en finale du Top 14 por BFMTV

Highlights in Spanish

1 comment:

  1. Great result for Montpellier. Trinh-duc is the man. What a great pass.