Preview | Montpellier | Challenge Cup | Semi-final

29 April 2021

Bath Rugby and Montpellier have met twice before in the Challenge Cup with the Blue, Black and Whites winning both clashes in the 2006/07 pool stages.

Since then, there have been four further meetings in the Heineken Champions Cup (2011/12 and 2014/15), three of which resulted in Bath victories – including both at the Rec.

Stuart Hooper’s side have reached this stage of the tournament on six previous occasions and have progressed to the final from four of their last six appearances at this stage while Montpellier have only reached the semi-finals once – they did go on to lift the trophy in 2016.

The French side have a good record on the road against Gallagher Premiership opposition, winning four of their last five away games but this came after losing their initial eight such matches.

While Montpellier are on an eight-match winning run in the Challenge Cup, Bath have won 29 of their 30 home games in the competition, only losing to Stade Francais in the quarter-finals back in 2013.

In their two matches in the Challenge Cup this term, Bath’s only points have come from tries and conversions (nine tries, eight conversions). Harlequins are the only other side not to score points from a penalty goal this campaign.

France international Paul Willemse has won more turnovers than any other player in the Challenge Cup despite playing just 70 minutes for Montpellier.

Zach Mercer made more carries (18) than anyone else in the quarter-finals and only Leicester Tigers’ Kini Murimurivalu (7) beat more defenders than Anthony Watson (5).


MATCH DETAILS

Date: 1 May 2021
Kick-off: 20:00
Competition: Challenge Cup
Where: The Rec
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRE)
Assistants: Frank Murphy (IRE), Chris Busby (IRE)
TMO: Brian Macniece (IRE)
Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (IRE)
Media Coverage: BT Sport 2


MOntpellier CURRENT FORM

(WWWWW)

Montpellier 31-25 Benetton | Challenge Cup
Montpellier 26-21 Glasgow Warriors | Challenge Cup
Toulouse 16-29 Montpellier | Top 14
Montpellier 22-16 Clermont Auvergne | Top 14
Agen 19-39 Montpellier | Top 14


Last time at the rec

French commentary

Sam Burgess set up a try, albeit inadvertently, within two minutes of his first rugby union start but Matt Banahan stole the limelight in Bath's Champions Cup win over Montpellier in 2014.

Banahan scored the first two tries of his hat-trick inside 13 minutes.

George Ford's boot gave Bath a 17-0 half-time lead and Banahan soon completed his treble.

Alex Tulou and Mickael Ivaldi replied for Montpellier but Horacio Agulla's try secured a bonus point for Bath.


 

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