Montpellier down Toulon for quarter-final spot
January 19, 2013
Georgian international Mamuka Gorgodze was in devastating form for Montpellier at the Stade Yves du Manoir
© Getty Images
Montpellier booked a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for the first time with a 23-3 victory over Toulon at the Stade Yves du Manoir on Saturday.
Tries from Thomas Combezou and Benoit Paillaugue, who converted both and also booted three penalties, gave the home side the victory they knew before the game would assure them of an historic place in the last eight.
Jonny Wilkinson opened the scoring with an early penalty for Toulon, but Combezou crossed for the game's first try in the eighth minute to put Montpellier in the ascendancy. Paillaugue added the extras and punished Toulon with three penalties in an eight-minute spell midway through the half.
Delon Armitage was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle six minutes before half-time, and although Toulon withstood Montpellier pressure during his absence from the pitch, it was not long after his return that the hosts scored again.
Paillaugue darted through to dot down in the 48th minute and with Wilkinson missing two kicks late in the game there was never any danger of a Toulon fightback.
Toulon's first defeat in Pool 6 did not prove costly, though, as they finished top and Montpellier took second place, certain to be one of the two best pool runners-up advancing to the quarter-final stage.
Montpellier celebrate making history with victory over Toulon at the Stade Yves du Manoir © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September