Jake's Montpellier make it six in a row

Jake White (Gallo Images)
Jake White (Gallo Images)

Paris - Montpellier shrugged off torrential rain to defeat Brive 19-3 on Friday as a sixth successive Top 14 victory took Jake White's team into second spot in the table.

With conditions making handling and running rugby hard to master, it was always unlikely that Montpellier would be repeating their recent form which had seen them rack up 100 points in the last two games.

It wasn't until the 22nd minute that the scoreboard first clicked into action.

Montpellier scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue popped over a simple penalty after impressive work from South African No8 Pierre Spies forced an infringement by the Brive defence in front of the posts.

Ten minutes later, Brive's Lucas Pointud was yellow-carded for preventing the release of the ball at a ruck and Paillaugue made it 6-0.

Wing Marvin O'Connor then scored the first try of the evening. Anthony Tuitavake made the line-breaking burst before releasing Paillaugue.

His quick hands allowed O'Connor to dive over into the corner for his eighth try of the season for Montpellier.

Brive finally got on the scoreboard with the last action of the first half thanks to a penalty from full-back Gaetan Germain.

That made the score 11-3 at the interval but Paillaugue succeeded with a difficult long-range penalty early in the second period for 14-3.

Germain missed a kickable penalty for his third miss in four attempts on the night.

Paillaugue then suffered a similar blip, going wide of the mark in the 49th minute - also his third miss of the rain-lashed game.

Montpellier's Fijian wing Timoci Nagusa had a try ruled out on the hour mark after Davit Kubriashvili was penalised for blocking Jean-Baptiste Pejoine.

But they only had to wait another three minutes to register their second try with Fiji flanker Akapusi Qera peeling off the back of a rolling maul to make the score 19-3.

Paillaugue, however, was unable to add the extras.

The victory allowed Montpellier to close the gap on leaders Clermont to just two points.

Clermont host third-placed Toulon, who are five points off the lead, on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Lyon made sure of their place in the Top 14 next season when their closest challengers in the second tier, Bayonne, lost 29-3 at Montauban.

Lyon had been relegated from the top flight last season.

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