Match Centre: Bath Rugby 10-19 Montpellier

Handre Pollard kicked the final penalty goal for Montpellier
Handre Pollard kicked the final penalty goal for Montpellier
©Steve Haag

Bath Rugby 10-19 Montpellier, Recreation Ground

Benoit Paillaugue contributed with 11 points while Yacouba Camara scored a try as Montpellier overcame Bath Rugby 19-10 in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup at Recreation Ground.

The French side will now take on Leicester Tigers in the final of the competition at Twickenham Stadium on 21st May.

Bath made a promising start to the game when an early mistake from Guilhem Guirado provided opportunity for Tom Dunn to dot down in the second minute and Ben Spencer followed with the conversion making it 7-0.

The response from Montpellier came in the 20th minute after Bath were penalised for an offside and Paillaugue kicked a penalty goal reducing the arrears to four points. The visitors seized the lead in the 22nd minute as Paillaugue chipped a ball to Vincent Rattez, who released Yacouba Camara over the line. Paillaugue kicked the conversion as the scoreline became 7-10.

Spencer with his first penalty in the 26th minute helped Bath level the scores but Paillaugue punished Stuart Hooper's men for their ill discipline with two more three-pointers to ensure Montpellier had a 10-16 lead heading into the break.

The French side took control early into the second half but could not quite translate it into points as Paillaugue missed a penalty goal in the 49th minute. They had a setback with Enzo Forletta sin binned in the 57th minute for tackling off the ball.

Despite the numerical advantage on their side, Bath could not quite find the breakthrough with Montpellier's defence keeping them at bay before Handre Pollard with the final points of the game sealed the win with a 19-10 margin.

Team line-up:

Bath: Watson; Cokanasiga, Joseph, Redpath, Muir; Bailey, Spencer; Schoeman, Dunn, Stuart, McNally, Ewels, Faletau, Underhill, Mercer

Reserves: Walker, Bhatti, Thomas, Stooke, Bayliss, Reid, Chudley, Clark

Montpellier: Bouthier; Tisseron, Goosen, Vincent, Rattez; Lozowski, Paillaugue; Forletta, Guirado, Haouas, Verhaeghe, Willemse, Janse van Rensburg, Camara, Becognee

Reserves: Du Plessis, Fichten, Lamositele, Duguid, Ouedraogo, Reinach, Pollard, Martin