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Top 14: Stade Français consolidates its leadership and pushes the MHR

Stade Français preserved the essentials this Saturday at the opening of the 20th day of the Top 14.

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Top 14: Stade Français consolidates its leadership and pushes the MHR

Stade Français preserved the essentials this Saturday at the opening of the 20th day of the Top 14. In pain, the leader of the championship won against the penultimate in the class, Montpellier, by a very short head (10-12).

After a major reorganization (10 changes) post-victory against Lyon (22-13), Stade Français went to Montpellier with the objective of consolidating its position as a solid leader in the Top 14. Montpellier, for its part, was coming out of a crushing defeat in Toulon (54-7) and was looking to pull itself together.

From the first minutes of play, the visitors took the upper hand, exploiting the difficulties of Montpellier in conquest. With blatant errors in touch, where they lost four balls in the first period, and difficulties in scrum, punished three times during this phase of play in the first act, the Montpellier residents conceded the first points of the game, scored from foot by Joris Segonds (10th, 13th). However, they came close to scoring a try, ultimately refused for a slight forward on a long pass from Cobus Reinach.

Montpellier reduced the gap with a penalty from Louis Carbonel, but failed to realize its numerical superiority before half-time, while Paul Alo-Emile was temporarily excluded for a shoulder tackle (36th).

The second act was hardly more spectacular but the Hérault public had at least one little try to get their teeth into, the work of their team through Tolofua in the 47th minute. A try transformed by Carbonel which allowed Montpellier to take the lead (10-9).

But six minutes later, a penalty from Joris Segonds, who was clumsier on the foot in the second half (two missed penalties, one missed drop), gave the advantage back to Stade Français (10-12), which retained it until the end.

It should also be noted that the captains, Paul Willemse and Sekou Macalou, pulled the pin in the 65th minute, leaving their teams at 14 after a big scuffle and a vehement head-to-head between the two men.

Stade Français takes the opportunity to take, at least provisionally, seven points ahead of its runner-up in Toulouse, which hosts Pau this Saturday evening (9 p.m.).

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