Charlie Ngatai turns from villain to hero in Top 14 Playoff

Charlie Ngatai turns from villain to hero in Top 14 Playoff

Former Chiefs and All Blacks' centre Charlie Ngatai led Lyon to the Top 14 semi-finals with a match-winning try against Montpellier on Saturday.


However, Ngatai was part of the reason that Lyon had to chase the game in the latter stages of the game as his former teammate Aaron Cruden charged down his clearance kick to put Montpellier ahead after 4 minutes.

Cruden punted the ball into the Lyon 22 from just behind the halfway line and chased it superbly to charge down his former Chiefs teammate's kick.

By the 11th minute, Montpellier was up 10-0 thanks to Aaron Cruden's try and five points from the boot of Benoit Paillaugue.

Pierre-Louis Barassi hauled a try back two minutes later, though, and despite missing his resulting conversion attempt, Wisniewski would not slip up again.

Paillaugue's penalty kept Montpellier ahead at the interval, but having converted two kicks in the first half, Wisniewski was on target again early in the second to nudge Lyon in front.

Cruden kicked over to restore Montpellier's lead, but the momentum was with the hosts, and Charlie Ngatai found a way through in the 69th minute - Wisniewski adding the extras to send Lyon through despite a late onslaught from the visitors.

Ngatai's try was far from the most spectacular try of his career but it did show off his vision as he spotted a weak link in the Montpellier defence from Thibaut Regard's carry and beat 3 would-be tacklers to score.

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