'Proud' White defends Montpellier tactics

2016-06-19 21:26
Jake White.

Rennes - South African coach Jake White insisted he was proud despite his Montpellier side failing to make the Top 14 final.

The European Challenge Cup winners lost their semi-final to 2014 French champions Toulon 27-18 on Saturday night.

"As an assessment, it's my first time coaching in France, it's difficult, the language is difficult, the coaching is difficult, the press are very, very difficult!" said White, who guided South Africa to World Cup glory in France in 2007 and took over the Montpellier reins 18 months ago.

"But I'm still very proud of what we've done in the last year. People are taking notice that Montpellier are going to be a good team."

And White hit out at the critics who accused his team of playing a boring style that suffocates the life out of their opponents through forward power rather than mesmerising with three-quarter flair.

"My game style is fantastic. We've scored the second most tries (after Toulon), the leading try-scorer is a wing for Montpellier (Timoci Nagusa).

"My president is happy, the players are happy, the coaches are happy, the fans are happy -- the only people who aren't happy are the media!

"The only thing we need is for the media to start writing the truth: we have the top try-scorer, the second best attack. I'm very happy."

He added: "I know you've got to sell papers, it's the same everywhere. It's the same in New Zealand, the same in South Africa."

Toulon will now meet Racing 92 in the final in Barcelona on Friday night and White admitted he'd rather his conquerors, coached by the soon to be retired Bernard Laporte, prevail.

"Bernard has been fantastic for French rugby. He brought Stade Francais up from the second division, he was French coach for longer than most coaches to coach the France national team.

"The fairytale is that Bernard Laporte finishes in Barcelona in front of 98,000 people and wins a trophy," said White.

"Maybe it's meant to be like that."

Read more on:    montpellier  |  top 14  |  jake white  |  rugby

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