Montpellier set up Toulouse showdown
May 28, 2011
Montpellier flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo bursts through against Racing Metro
© Getty Images
Montpellier progressed to the Top 14 final for the first time after upsetting Racing Metro 26-25 at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday.
Fabien Galthie's side will now face Toulouse at the Stade de France in next weekend's season finale after their opponents ended the challenge of reigning champions Clermont Auvergne on Friday night.
Montpellier led 13-6 at the break and continued their march in the early stages of the second-half, but were made to hang on for dear life at the close as Pierre Berbizier's star-studded Racing side fought for all they were worth.
Frans Steyn and Martin Bustos Moyana exchanged penalties early on before Montpellier lost hooker Fabien Rofes to a yellow card. While they were down to 14 men, Galthie's side's continued indiscipline at the breakdown allowed fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski to edge Racing ahead.
Montpellier were then denied a try by the Television Match Official after Aliki Fakate barged over under the posts following a scrum five metres out, but Bustos Moyana did land three points from the pressure to level the scores.
Back up to their full complement, Montpellier went ahead as centre Sylvain Mirande crashed over the line and Bustos Moyana converted.
They extended their lead after the break as centre Santiago Fernandez raced on to an offload to score in the right corner. Bustos Moyana's conversion and a further penalty gave the visitors a 23-6 lead, only for Racing Metro hit back with a try from giant Fijian winger Sireli Bobo.
Wisniewski then took charge of the game with a try just after the hour mark, his conversion making it a five-point game with 19 minutes to play. With the wind in their sails Racing continued to press but Montpellier were able to hold out until six minutes before the end, when replacement Jone Qovu Naliko crashed over to level things.
Wisniewski held his nerve to give Berbizier's side a two-point lead and keep their hopes of a first title since 1990 alive, but Bustos Moyana, one of the league's most reliable operators, stepped up with two minutes on the clock to win a famous victory.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection