Jake's Montpellier climb to second

2016-09-25 16:00
Nemani Nadolo (Getty Images)

Paris - Burly Fiji wing Nemani Nadolo scored a hat-trick of tries as Montpellier thumped Brive 42-13 to earn a bonus point that took them up to second in the French Top 14.

Former Crusaders back Nadolo made the most of clever kicking by his team-mates to dot down three times in a comprehensive performance by the Jake White-coached Montpellier.

"It's been a long time coming," Nadolo, who is in his second spell in France following an unsuccessful six months at Bourgoin in 2010, told Canal+.

"To get some tries on the back of a really good back line, I'm pleased.

"That's what we're training hard for, we've got the players here so we need to keep preparing well each week and take each week as it comes - we have a big game next week against Stade Francais.

"I fell in love with France so I've come back. I had a tough time with Bourgoin but here there's a world class team, world class facilities - it's such a beautiful place, I love this team."

Unbeaten Clermont can move back above Montpellier later on Sunday if they avoid defeat against struggling Toulon, while a victory would put them top.

Brive fullback Gaetan Germain gave the visitors the lead with the boot on nine minutes but Nadolo caught a high crossfield kick from flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis on 13min to touch down.

Germain restored Brive's lead with his second successful penalty but Catrikilis dissected the posts himself before Nadolo grabbed his second score following a kick ahead from opposite wing Benjamin Fall in a length-of-the-field break.

Fijian flank Sisa Koyamaibole was sin-binned for Brive for collapsing on a ruck and Catrakilis kicked a second penalty to send Montpellier into the half-time break leading 18-6.

The game seemed all but over as a contest three minutes into the second period as South African centre Francois Steyn sold a dummy and then cut inside William Whetton, finding a free channel to dive over next to the posts.

His compatriot Catrakilis converted for a 25-6 lead.

But moments later New Zealand flank Whetton picked up a loose ball in midfield after a wayward Antoine Battut pass and ran through unopposed to get Brive back into the match.

Brive were there own worst enemies, though, and scrumhalf Teddy Iribaren was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Montpellier made them pay immediately as Nadolo finished off his hat-trick, latching onto a Benoit Paillaugue grubber to get behind Brive's high defensive line.

Montpellier were back in bonus point territory but made sure with their fifth score as French hooker Charles Geli emerged from the back of a rolling maul to touch down.

Replacement flyhalf Ben Botica of New Zealand converted and added a late penalty to round off the scoring.

On Saturday, defending champions Racing 92 fell to a third straight away defeat, 31-23 at Castres.

Surprise-package La Rochelle went top with a 34-17 win over Bayonne while Toulouse arrested an alarming three-game losing streak with a 23-18 success against 2015 champions Stade Francais.

Australia wing Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a hat-trick as Bordeaux-Begles took a bonus point in routing Lyon 32-10.


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