Montpelier wall holds Bath at the Rec

Montpelier wall holds Bath at the Rec

An outstanding defensive display saw Montpellier punch their ticket to the Challenge Cup Final with a 19-10 away win over Bath in the semis. Bath started fast with a try just 3 minutes in to lead 7-0, with Tom Dunn muscling over from close range.

Johan Goosen missed a long range penalty, but Montpellier were on the board midway through the first half via the boot of Benoit Paillaugue. Paillaugue was off target with his second attempt, but his superb chip ahead into space saw Vincent Rattez regather to play Yacouba Camara to race in for the try to put Montpellier in front 10-7. Shortly after, Ben Spencer leveled matters off the kicking tee at ten apiece. Montpellier kept the scoreboard ticking over, slotting two penalties to lead 16-10. Spencer missed a late first half penalty attempt, as Montpellier held a six point advantage at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Paillaugue missed a penalty attempt. Bath then piled on the pressure, which saw Enzo Forletta pick up a yellow card for repeated infringements by Montpellier in their own 22. Bath continued to try muscle their way over the line, but were kept out by some terrific Montpellier defence. Despite having much of the ball deep in Montpellier territory, Bath were unable to penetrate the visitors physical defence. A penalty inside the final minute for Montpellier sealed Bath's fate, as the French side set up a Challenge Cup Final clash with the Leicester Tigers.

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