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London Irish seek response at Montpellier

Friday 20th January 2023

10:00 am (GMT)

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London Irish seek response at Montpellier

London Irish's defeat to Montpellier in Round 1 was their first Heineken Champions Cup game in over a decade

London Irish head to France looking for their first win in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup as they face Montpellier Hérault Rugby in Round 4 on Saturday.

Irish fell to Montpellier in Round 1, losing 27-32 at the Gtech Community Stadium, and have gone on to lose their next two games in Pool B

Both teams are looking to bounce back from defeats in Round 3, with Montpellier losing 35-29 at Ospreys, and Irish falling 14-28 at home to DHL Stormers.

The Pool B match kicks off at 13:00 (UK & Irish time) on Sunday at the GGL Stadium, and can be watched on beIN SPORTS, BT Sport, SuperSport and FloRugby.

Montpellier Herault Rugby

  • Zach Mercer has carried the ball more than any other player in the tournament (53). He has crossed the gainline on 56.6 per cent of the occasions he has carried.
  • Montpellier have made more tackles than any other team, with 456.
  • Montpellier have had 12 rucks which have lasted less than a second – more than any other team. Nine of these have been in the opposition 22.

London Irish

  • Ben White made 87 passes in Round 3, more than any other player, four of which were offloads.
  • Despite being down to 13 men for 38 minutes last week, London Irish still made the second-highest total carries.
  • Rob Simmons has conceded the most penalties in the competition so far (seven). London Irish have had three red cards in the tournament so far. No other team has been shown more than one.

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London Irish stunned by Montpellier comeback

Sunday 22nd January 2023

3:03 pm (GMT)

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London Irish stunned by Montpellier comeback

Montpellier's Gabriel N'gandebe tackles London Irish's Ollie Hassell-Collins

London Irish’s hopes of reaching the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 went up in smoke after Montpellier Hérault Rugby completed an incredible comeback to draw 21-21 in the Heineken Champions Cup at GGL Stadium on Sunday.

Irish were 21 points up with 48 minutes played in the Round 4 encounter, Adam Coleman, Juan Martin Gonzalez and Agustin Creevy all crossing in an impressive display from the visitors.

But Montpellier, already assured of a Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 berth, grew into the game in the second half and got over through Thomas Darmon, Vincent Giudicelli and Cobus Reinach to level the scores.

Irish fell agonisingly short of reaching the EPCR Challenge Cup – a fourth bonus-point try and victory would have been enough, but Sale Sharks ultimately took 10th to qualify from Pool B along with ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Irish produced a terrific first-half display and were 14-0 up at the break, lock Coleman opening the scoring on five minutes as he crashed over following a lineout maul.

The visitors then survived a lengthy period of Montpellier pressure in style, defending resolutely before launching a counter-attack which ultimately ended with flanker Gonzalez firing over from close range.

Montpellier showed glimpses of their quality but were met with robust Irish defence while handling errors saw multiple attacks break down.

Irish’s assured performance continued early in the second half as hooker Creevy notched their third try on 48 minutes amid another powerful maul.

But after another extended phase of pressure, Montpellier finally found a way through as centre Darmon blasted over following good work from replacement scrum-half Reinach.

And the momentum then swung in the hosts’ favour as Irish fly-half Paddy Jackson was sin-binned for a cynical infringement seconds before replacement hooker Giudicelli dotted down.

The TOP 14 champions’ comeback was completed on 75 minutes as Reinach darted over in a clever finish following a quickly-taken penalty.

The result saw Montpellier finish seventh in Pool B and ended Irish’s EPCR adventure for this season as they ended up 11th.

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