Access match Grenoble-MHR: Montpellier suffers martyrdom but saves its place in Top 14 in the last minutes after an unbearable suspense

Access match Grenoble-MHR: Montpellier suffers martyrdom but saves its place in Top 14 in the last minutes after an unbearable suspense

Like its Ben Lam try, Montpellier started the match with a bang before suffering throughout the game. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

At the end of a suspenseful duel where it suffered until the end, the MHR managed to snatch its maintenance in the Top 14 against Grenoble. The relief is immense.  

Relief or the scaffold. Montpellier suffered enormously this Sunday at the Stade des Alpes, when finishing the most dramatic match in its history. In a stadium won over to the Grenoble cause, the MHR, very close to the precipice after nine months of struggle (13th in the regular season), finally saved its place in the Top 14 at the end of a duel where it shook from the start at the end. That's it, it's over. President Mohed Altrad's club remains in the elite. But he will remember this last double-edged match for a long time.  

After taking the score thanks to a great Ben Lam, author of a try (6th) and a decisive action on Gabriel Ngandebe's try ( 13th), the Héraultais, clinical in attack and efficient in defense, faded throughout the first half, wasting several opportunities to make the break.

Thanks to a try on a carried ball from Massa (29th), then another assassin just before half-time from Hepetema (39th), Grenoble scored a 15-0 to lead at the break (18-14). More strikingly, the FCG had succeeded in the essential: being able to believe in it until the end.

Unbreathable suspense

Like a season where they have repeatedly eaten their fingers, the Montpellier residents may harbor regrets given their offensive ineffectiveness, which cost them dearly at the start of the second half-time. Dominated and put under pressure by the foot of Davies, Patrice Collazo's men lost the battle of occupation.

As the minutes ticked by, tension rose in the MHR camp, which reduced the gap on a penalty from Carbonel, (18-17, 61st) to twenty minutes of the end. Everything remained to be done against the Grenoblois who were starting to take the physical hit during their fourth consecutive play-off match.

The Cists tried to rebel, but too many errors and blunders spoiled their initiative. The suspense was unbearable, it smelled like toast for Nouchi and his partners. And the unthinkable happened three minutes from the end. On a penalty from Carbonel within 22 meters, Montpellier definitely took the advantage (18-20) and was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. The Pro D2 has never been so close, the ax has not passed far.

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