Montpellier vs Castres
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 11 December 2016
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
An all French affair that will be more than a little interesting as these two team are both on the rise domestically, and when they met in the Top 14, at Montpellier’s home ground, it was the home team that won there 28-19.
At the moment in the European Cup, there is very little that separate Montpellier and Castres. Montpellier are currently third, but they have the same amount of points as Castres with both teams picking up a win – but Montpellier picking up a losing bonus while Castres got a winning one. Montpellier also have a lesser points difference. Their two games, in classical French style, ended up being a loss away from home – against the Saints in a nail bitter where it ended 16-14, and then they got the beating of group leaders Leinster at home 22-16.
Castres are in second, and only a point off of first Leinster who have an additional bonus point, but it is all very tight in this group with even the Saint in last place only two points off of the top as they have one win too. Castres fell away from home to Leinster – as to be expected – 33-15, but then bounced back in emphatic fashion as they trampled the Saints at home 41-7. It was an unexpected result, but one that really showed the ability of the French side.
Montpellier vs Castres: Domestic Form
In a really tight French Top 14 log, Montpellier have yo-yo-ed somewhere between second and sixth for much of the season. At the moment they are on a high after beating Grenoble in a huge score, so they are in second with eight wins and five losses from their 13 games.
Castres have also been climbing of late, and they find themselves in fifth spot with seven wins, a draw and five losses – only three points off of Montpellier.
Montpellier vs Castres: Prediction
It almost becomes mathematical when deciding which French team will win, as it is almost always the one at home. Nothing should change here because Montpellier are indeed at home, but they are also the better team and should be able to breeze past Castres side that will be full of confidence having won away at Lyon in the Top 14, but could not replicate that against a team like Montpellier.
Montpellier vs Castres: Tips
There are some real brutes in the Montpellier side, like Frans Steyn and Nemani Nadolo, not to mention Jacques du Plessis and Pierre Spies. These big men love the big stage and are worth a bet for anytime scorers.
More Rugby Champions Cup previews:
- Northampton Saints vs Leinster
- Munster vs Leicester Tigers
- Ulster vs Clermont
- Racing Metro vs Glasgow
- Saracens vs Sale Sharks
- Zebre vs Toulouse
- Wasps vs Connacht
- Toulon vs Scarlets
- Exeter vs Bordeaux