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French giants collide in fight for knockout stage

Friday 14th December 2018

5:04 pm (GMT)

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French giants collide in fight for knockout stage

Toulon's Raphael Lakafia in action against Newcastle Falcons.

Montpellier host TOP 14 rivals RC Toulon in a must-win Heineken Champions Cup match for both teams at the GGL Stadium, live on BT Sport on Sunday at 15:15 (GMT).

  • All five meetings between Montpellier and Toulon in the Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup have been won by the home side on the day.
  • Montpellier have won all three of their previous home games against TOP 14 opposition in the European Cup, including a 20-point victory over RC Toulon in 2012/13.
  • Toulon have lost all four of their previous away games against TOP 14 clubs, although three of those matches did take place in the knockout stage.
  • Montpellier and Toulon are two of seven sides to have maintained a 100% scrum success rate this season.
  • Montpellier have made 625 tackles to date, the only side in the competition to average more than 200 per match.

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Montpellier claim bonus-point win over Toulon in tough conditions

Sunday 16th December 2018

6:01 pm (GMT)

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Montpellier claim bonus-point win over Toulon in tough conditions

Montpellier No.8 Louis Picamoles is held by Toulon's defence during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 tie at the GGL Stadium on Sunday

Montpellier kept their Heineken Champions Cup ambitions alive with a bonus-point Pool 5 triumph over TOP 14 rivals RC Toulon on Sunday.

Despite the treacherous conditions, Montpellier scored five tries against the three-time European champions at the GGL Stadium, with Jan Serfontein, Henry Immelman, Vincent Giudicelli, Ruan Pienaar and Levan Chilachava all crossing in an emphatic display by the hosts.

Francois Trinh-Duc and Pienaar exchanged early penalties, before South African centre Serfontein took advantage of gaps in Toulon’s defence to slide over in front of the posts in the 13th minute. Pienaar converted.

Wing Immelman scored Montpellier’s second try in the 33rd minute, finishing nicely in the corner to improve the home side’s lead, although it was cut to 15-6 at the break by Trinh-Duc’s penalty.

Montpellier added their third try shortly after the break through Giudicelli, who peeled off the back of a rolling maul to lumber over. Pienaar added the conversion.

And it was former Springbok scrum-half Pienaar who scored the crucial bonus-point try, capitalising on good work by full-back Francois Steyn. Pienaar improved his own effort.

Georgian back-rower Mamuka Gorgodze scored Toulon’s only try midway through the second half, but replacement Chilachava wrapped things up for Montpellier with a try just before full-time to seal an important win.

Montpellier welcome Newcastle Falcons to the GGL Stadium in Round 5 on January 12, when Toulon host Pool 5 leaders Edinburgh Rugby at the Stade Felix-Mayol.

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