Friday 27 April 2018

Montpellier keep cup hopes alive

Montpellier 34
Cardiff Blues 21

Montpellier kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive with a convincing win over Cardiff Blues at Stade Yves du Manoir. The French club battled to a hard-fought win over the 14-man Blues last week, but their victory was far more emphatic on home soil.

Sam Warburton gave the Blues the perfect start but Montpellier responded with tries from Timoci Nagusa, Rassie Van Vuuren and Yoan Audrin.

Alex Cuthbert hit back but Johnnie Beattie sealed the victory and bonus point with his touchdown on 58 minutes.

Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies made five changes to the side that crashed to a 35-24 defeat last week. Warburton returned from illness and Lewis Jones started at scrum-half, replacing the suspended Lloyd Williams.

But the Welsh region lost two more players before kick-off with both Lou Reed and Marc Breze dropping out of the squad – Reed due to his father Robert's death.

Scorers – Montpellier: Nagusa, van Vuuren, Audrin, Beattie tries; Bustos Moyano 4 cons, 2 pens. Cardiff Blues: Warburton, Cuthbert tries; Patchell con, 3 pens.

Montpellier: Bustos Moyana; Nagusa, Carraro (S Hape 59), Bosch, Audrin (Thiery 70); Fernandez, J Tomas (Escande 66); Watremez (Leleimalefaga 53), van Vuuren (Ladhuie 72), Figallo (Fa'amausili 66), De Marco, Fakate (Privat 55), Bias (Ouedraogo 56), Galletier, Beattie.

Cardiff Blues: Tovey; Cuthbert (O Williams 77), Evans, Hewitt (G Davies 67), Robinson; Patchell, Jones (Lewis 77); Filise (Hobbs 56), R Williams (Dacey 74), Bourrust, Cook (Copeland 63), Down (Andrews 56), Navidi (Hamilton 76), Warburton, Pretorius.

Referee: Greg Garner (RFU).

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