CAPE TOWN – The Dillyn Leyds-led Western Province team finished their Currie Cup preparations with a 26-7 defeat against Montpellier in Millau on Thursday.
The defending Currie Cup champions concluded their pre-season tour with a clash against the French giants, who fielded a team featuring five Springboks and one All Black in the starting XV.
Montpellier scored two tries in each half, with DHL Western Province managing one try of their own in what proved to be a physical encounter.
The early exchanges were tense, with the first casualty coming when DHL Western Province hooker Ramone Samuels was forced to leave the field with a knee injury.
The first try came from a line-out drive, with Montpellier hooker Bismarck du Plessis crashing over from a maul and fullback Johan Goosen adding the conversion on the 20-minute mark.
Montpellier added a second try just before half-time, with right wing Vincent Martin put over by centre Frans Steyn. The conversion from Goosen saw the French side take a 14-0 advantage into the half-time break.
DHL Western Province got on the scoreboard early in the second half with a try from Ntubeni which was converted by fullback SP Marais to cut Montpellier’s lead to 14-7.
The French side would be next to strike however, with centre Yvan Reilhac dotting down to restore the 14-point advantage with just over 10 minutes left.
Montpellier would have the final say when replacement Konstantin Mikautadze scored three minutes from time to seal the win.
Scorers for Western Province:
Try: Scarra Ntubeni
Con: SP Marais
Scorers for Montpellier:
Tries: Bismarck Du Plessis, Vincent Martin, Yvan Reilhac, Konstantin Mikautadze
Cons: Johan Goosen (3)
The Western Province team:
15 SP Marais, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Dillyn Leyds (captain), 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Chris Massyn, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Chad Solomon, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Josh Stander, 24 Paul de Wet, 25 Dan du Plessis, 26 Duncan Saal.
The Montpellier team:
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Gabriel N’Gandebe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Martin Devergie, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Grégory Fichten.
Replacements: 16 Giudicelli, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Julien Le Devedec, 19 Kévin Kornath, 20 Henry Immelman, 21 Timoci Nagusa, 22 Enzo Sanga, 23 Levan Chilachava, 24 Romain Ruffenach, 25 Konstantin Mikautadze, 26 Vincent, 27 Thomas Darmon, 28 Julien Tomas, 29 Antoine Guillamon.