Toulon, who led by ten points twenty minutes from the end of the match, conceded the draw against Montpellier (19-19) Saturday at the Stade Felix-Mayol opening the 9th day of the Top 14.
Welsh scrum half Rhys Webb on the Var side (57) and back Anthony Bouthier on the Herault side (63) scored the two tries of the match. With this draw, the RCT (5th) is close to a point by the MHR (6th), his opponent at night.
But Montpellier could (had?) Win on the Rade: in a suffocating end of the match where the MHR launched his last strength in the battle and stumbled five meters from the goal line, Cruden had the penalty of The win at the end of the foot ... But Louis Picamoles lost his nerves and reversed the penalty for brutality.
A little earlier, winger Ngandebe (43rd) was denied a test, yet validated and transformed, for a forward Nagusa after intervention of the referee video. The Toulonnais are doing well.
Before reaching this point, the RCT, solidary, held in check a Montpellier team yet legs in a match chopped by clumsiness and hand mistakes.
The three weeks without Top 14, imposed by the last rounds of the World Cup in Japan, do not explain everything. No more than the two yellow cards collected by winger Toulon Dakuwaqa (33), then by the pillar Montpellier Chilachava (39th).
Aggressive ahead, the Toulonnais have camped in the Hérault camp from the first minutes. Without being able to find the flaw, they suffered with each loss of ball. And even South African back Henry Immelman opened the scoring with a penalty of 50 meters (7th), following an error by Anthony Belleau, judged within ten meters on a penalty played quickly by Louis Picamoles.
Stronger in scrum and in the rucks, Xavier Garbajosa's men disrupted the game of the RCT. And fortunately for Toulon, Belleau has caught up with four penalties, the last of which, the 19-19, five minutes from the end.
His counterpart Hérault Aaron Cruden responded by registering eleven points to the foot (three penalties, a transformation).
Disappointing on this match while they held the score, the Toulonnais will have to react during their trip Friday in Bayonne for the first day of European Challenge. Same story for Montpellier who will quickly react Saturday during his meeting in Ireland in the province of Connacht in the European Cup.
© 2019 AFP