February 22, 2019, 15:51

Montpellier complete back-to-back wins over Glasgow to keep up qualifying hopes

Montpellier complete back-to-back wins over Glasgow to keep up qualifying hopes

Montpellier kept themselves in the hunt for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals by making it back-to-back victories over Glasgow with a bonus-point 36-26 win in France.

The visitors had the better of a thrilling first half and led 19-14 at the interval, largely thanks to tries from Fraser Brown, Peter Horne and Nick Grigg. Nemani Nadolo and Romain Ruffenach touched down for the hosts.

A pair of quick tries – courtesy of replacement Henry Immelman and Benoit Paillaugue – turned things around after the break, and Immelman’s second put the hosts out of sight before George Horne’s consolation try 10 minutes from time.

The result kept Vern Cotter’s side within touching distance of Leinster at the top of Pool Three.

A knock-on from kick-off gave Dave Rennie’s side an early opportunity to run at the Montpellier defence.

Aaron Cruden managed to intercept the ball to stop the attack, but, just when the danger looked to have passed, the visitors struck.

Jesse Mogg’s attempted clearance was charged down by Brown, who stayed patient to fall on the ball over the try-line. Peter Horne added the extras to make it 7-0 in just the third minute.

Their lead only lasted four minutes as Nadolo showed his strength to power over for his fifth try in four Champions Cup matches.

Cruden found the corner with a penalty after Matt Smith entered a ruck from the side. Jan Serfontein ran hard at the defensive line before Fiji wing Nadolo picked up and barged over.

Paillaugue levelled from the tee, only for the visitors to hit back and take the lead again.

Smith got over the ball at a ruck to turnover Serfontein, and Peter Horne ghosted through the scrambling defence to score before converting his own try.

The rolling maul proved a key weapon for Cotter’s team after 19 minutes when Ruffenach threw into the lineout and latched onto the back of a powerful maul to score.

The breathless first quarter continued three minutes later when Grigg powered through Mogg to score, and it remained 19-14 until half-time.

But the pendulum swung back the way of Montpellier after 45 minutes. Nadolo charged through Tommy Seymour and downfield before the ball was worked to replacement Immelman for an easy run-in.

And they firmly established control a minute later when Nico Janse van Rensburg charged down Ali Price’s box-kick and fed Paillaugue for the bonus-point score and a 26-19 advantage.

The game was wrapped up when Francois Steyn foiled a promising Glasgow attack and gave the ball to Nadolo, who linked with Cruden to send Immelman over for his brace.

George Horne raced over after neat interplay to earn a try-scoring bonus, but Steyn notched a late penalty to deny the Warriors a point for losing by seven points or fewer.

Source: breakingnews.ie

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