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Top 14 Orange
Trinh-Duc laments Montpellier defeat
Ian Moriarty
April 25, 2011
Francois Trin-Duc looks to fend off Sergio Parisse, Stade Francais v Montpellier, French Top 14, Charlety Stadium, Paris, France, October 2, 2010
Francois Trinh-Duc was left frustrated by Montpellier's defeat to Brive © Getty Images
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Montpellier playmaker Francois Trinh-Duc could not hide his disappointment after watching his side lose 21-23 to Brive and in the process, exit the Top 14 play-off places for the first time this season.

The Fabien Galthie-coached team have been one of the surprises of the season but will in all likelihood need a win against Toulon in the final game of the season to keep their post-season and Heineken Cup hopes alive.

"It such a big disappointment to lose in this way," Trinh-Duc told Midi Olympique. "We've got this last match against Toulon, in order to qualify. Since the start of the season, we've been up in the group of frontrunners with the chance of discovering the H Cup next year. Now, as we approach the finish line, we've left the top six. That's incredibly frustrating."

Trinh-Duc's disappointment was echoed by Perpignan coach Jacques Brunel, who watched his side's prospects of a top-six place disappear after their 43-12 drubbing in Toulon.

Brunel told l'Independant: "Our slow start told against us in the end. We'll have plenty of regrets when we come to review [the season] because we left too many points on the road."

Currently in ninth place, the Toulon result also placed extra significance on Perpignan's Heineken Cup semi-final against Northampton next weekend, with their European aspirations for next season on the line.

Brunel added: "[The Northampton match] is our last chance with a twin-fold objective: win the European Cup in order to qualify for the Heineken Cup next season."

None of this will matter to Toulouse, who will go into their Heineken semi-final this weekend with a home Top 14 semi-final spot already assured after their 33-0 win over Bourgoin.

"The essential has been assured," Toulouse starlet Jean-Marc Doussain told La Depeche du Midi. "The objective was clear: play well and to apply ourselves to the fundamentals. In terms of the bigger picture, it was a good match to prepare for what comes ahead."

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