Montpellier to beat Castres Olympique 29-10 to claim Top 14 title

Handre Pollard was part of the winning Montpellier side
Handre Pollard was part of the winning Montpellier side
©Steve Haag

Castres 10-29 Montpellier, Stade de France

Montpellier claimed their maiden Top 14 trophy as they went on to beat Castres 29-10 in the final at Stade de France.

Kick-off was delayed by 19 minutes after French President Emmanuel Macron was whistled on and off the field as he was presented to the players.

Montpellier got off to a promising start as Arthur Vincent dived over the line in the 5th minute after collecting a grubber kick from Zach Mercer and they further upped the ante as lock Florent Vanverberghe and full-back Anthony Bouthier, who was beautifully set-up by a Vincent loop pass to make it 0-17.

While Benoit Paillaugue kicked penalties in the 20th and 38th minutes, the only response from Castres in the opening half came from a three-pointer from Julien Dumora as the teams went into the break with a 3-23 scoreline.

The game also saw Guilhem Guirado, who is retiring at the end of the game leave the field with an neck injury in the 27th minute.

Castres began the second 40 minutes on a positive note and were denied shortly after the interval as Mercer and Vincent held up Dumora over the line.

Paolo Garbisi with a 68th minute penalty goal extended Montpellier's lead to 23 points before Vilimoni Botitu dotted down with four minutes left to provide some consolation for Castres to make it 10-26. Handre Pollard, who came off the bench in the 68th minute on his final game for the French kicked the final points of the game through a drop goal with four minutes left in the game as Montpellier completed a maiden Top 14 title win.