Montpellier v Glasgow: Warriors tumble out of Challenge Cup

Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson laments Warriors' poor discipline once again after narrow defeat in the South of France

Danny Wilson believes Warriors could, and probably should, have beaten Montpellier. Image: © Craig Watson -
Danny Wilson believes Warriors could, and probably should, have beaten Montpellier. Image: © Craig Watson -

Montpellier 26

Glasgow Warriors 21

FRUSTRATION in the South of France for Warriors as they pushed Montpellier all the way but paid a heavy price for some dreadfully poor discipline, and not for the first time this season.

The visitors did enough to pick-up a win which would have teed-up a Challenge Cup quarter-final clash at home against either Agen or Benetton next weekend, but now they have a fortnight to rest, re-energise and re-focus ahead of the start of the Rainbow Cup on the weekend of 24th April instead.

Warriors actually conceded four less penalties than Montpellier over the course of the game, but 14 is still crippling to any team wanting to build momentum, and with the visitors having coughed up too fairly soft tries just before and just after the break, it certainly did not work in their favour that the game was so stop-start.

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To compound the situation, a red-card for flanker TJ Ioane – two minutes after coming off the bench – for dangerous play, and yellow-card for centre Nick Grigg for a deliberate knock-on, left Warriors with 13 men as they tried to chase the game at the end.

It is clearly a growing frustration to head coach Danny Wilson that his team constantly leave themselves fighting battles with one hand tied behind their back.

“It’s the pattern that is haunting us at the moment, isn’t it? Our discipline is just not good enough,” he said. “We’ve approached a number of tactics to address that. We’ve gone through specific incidents, we’ve gone through all the penalties in a game, we’ve gone through not picking players who have shown poor discipline …

“It has to improve dramatically because we can’t be playing big games like this and giving away the number of penalties and cards that we did tonight.

“The red card killed us, we also gave away a very soft try from an individual defensive error which cost us, our exits were poor and our kicking game generally wasn’t good enough. When we got tempo into the game, we played some nice rugby and showed the threat we can be, but ultimately not enough to get over the line.

“We showed plenty of fight, we got ourselves back to within a score and the chance to go on for a win, so I certainly think we’ll look back and say it is a game we should have won. It was a very frustrating night.”

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There was no lack of attacking intent during the first half, but the high penalty count and lots of handling errors meant it was pretty scrappy stuff. Warriors edged into a narrow lead on three separate occasions during that period through Adam Hastings penalties, but Montpellier kept in touch with two penalties of their own kicked by Alex Lozowski.

Then, just before half-time, a penalty against Lee Jones for holding onto the ball in the deck allowed Montpellier to go to the corner, and home skipper Guilhem Guirado burst from the line-out maul to snatch the opening try on the stroke of half-time.

It was a bad time to concede seven points, and Warriors further damaged their cause with yet another penalty in the first minute of the second-half, this time against Tom Gordon for taking out Cobus Reinach as he tried to get the ball away from the back of a ruck, which gave Montpellier the field position for their second try inside the space of five minutes.

Some slick hands from Montpellier sucked Rufus McLean in, which allowed winger Vincent Rattez to escape down the left touchline before feeding the pass back inside to try scorer Anthony Bouthier.

Warriors captain Fraser Brown appeared to pull his team back into the match when he powered over from a quick tap-penalty, but the video replay showed he had lost control of the ball as he stretched for the line. Montpellier second-row Bastien Chalureau was then yellow-carded for tackling Brown without retreating 10 and Warriors were awarded another penalty, but you have to wonder why a penalty try wasn’t in order.

Warriors did narrow the gap to eight points with a fourth Hastings penalty of the night a few minutes later, but then they suffered that major setback when Iaone was shown red when his shoulder made contact with a Montpellier head in a tackle.

Lozowski kicked the penalty to make it 23-15, and while Warriors kept plugging away they couldn’t close the gap.

Hastings kicked his fifth penalty of the match, and his replacement Ross Thompson added two to keep them in touch, but Lozowski’s fourth penalty of the night was enough to see the hosts home for the win.

Warriors were boosted during that finale when Montpellier replacement Martin Devergie saw yellow for a dangerous tackle on George Turner with eight minutes to go, but three minutes later Grigg was also sent to the naughty step making it 14 versus 13 for the final five minutes.


Teams –

Montpellier: A Bouthier; J Goosen, A Vincent, J Serfontein (Y Reilhac 40), V Rattez,; A Lozowski, C Reinach; E Forletta, G Guirado (B Du Plessis 58), M Haouas (T Lamositele 54), F Verhaeghe (M Devergie 70), B Chalureau, N Janse van Rensburg, Y Camara, A Becognee.

Glasgow Warriors: H Jones (N Matawalu 25); R McLean, N Grigg, S Johnson, L Jones; A Hastings (R Thompson 68), A Price (G Horne 60); O Kebble (D Evans 74), F Brown (G Turner 56), Z Fagerson (E Pieretto 68), R Gray, R Harley (L Nakarawa 74), F Lokotui (T Ioane 56), T Gordon, R Wilson.


Scorers –

Montpellier: Tries: Guirado, Bouthier; Con: Lazowski 2; Pen: Lazowski 4.

Glasgow Warriors: Pen: Hastings 5, Thompson 2.

Scoring sequence (Montpellier first): 0-3; 3-3; 3-6; 6-6; 6-9; 11-9; 13-9 (h-t) 18-9; 20-9; 20-12; 23-12; 23-15; 23-18; 26-18, 26-21;


Yellow cards –

Montpellier: Chalureau (50mins), Devergie (72mins)

Edinburgh: Grigg (76mins)


Red cards –

Edinburgh: Ioane (59mins)

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Agree with most of the comments here – can’t help feeling we really need another big ball carrying no 8 in the squad to cover Fagerson when injured or away with Scotland. (Nakarawa not going to be here next season – thank goodness some might say and whilst you can’t fault Ryan Wilson’s commitment he’s just not a big no8 by modern standards, much better on the flank. We semi to have an excess in some positions such as 9 and threadbare in others.

    • We have signed Jack Dempsey the Austraian international back rower – his stats have him at 6ft 3 and 17st+ He’s still relatively young so hopefully not just some guy looking for a jolly. So lets hope he fits the bill.

  2. On paper this was a strong team who should have shown a lot more. But they’ve just not played together and it really showed. Agree with those criticising the decision making and the 9-10 axis role in this defeat. Hastings too upright in the tackle and always goes yards backwards. In attack regularly fails to spot the pass and then often gets turned over at the breakdown. Price just too slow and ponderous and offers little with ball in hand. George H was a breath of fresh air when he came on and the speed and variety of delivery were so much better. Some dodgy referee decisions (Grigg’s sending off and no penalty try for the disallowed Fraser Brown try). But you can’t deny that the better TEAM won. Time to start planning for 2021/22 (I hope Wilson continues to use the Rainbow Cup to bring on the ‘kids’).

  3. Another TJI HOWLER!!
    In just over a month – Leinster yellow card, Ospreys yellow card, Montpellier red card.
    Coach Wilson says he doesn’t select players with poor discipline???
    Oh dear, this says everything about the Warriors squad, or lack of one.

  4. Agree with all the above comments. I really don’t like watching Glasgow these days. Grigg I thought was unlucky. Hastings shouldn’t even get a start. The red card well we have to cooome to terms it’s how the Northern hemisphere is going to interperate it, watching the blues hurricanes this morning reefs have a different view maybe somewhere in between is needed

  5. Can but agree with the posters here, a woeful display and a great opportunity wasted.
    I turned on just after half time and at only four points down looked forward to the second half.
    The ref asking Brown to stop his players shouting at him was not a good sign. You cannot expect to get 50:50s if you upset a ref this way. Some real brain farts thereafter.
    What do these guys do all day which makes them unable to have basic discipline?
    Why can international players not think for themselves?
    I am a big supporter of Edin and Glasgow to develop Scottish talent, but precious little sign of any development last night.
    My known dislike of non SQ journeyman not helped by the red card, and his team mates sympathising with him rather than staring daggers.
    Yet coach is aware of the discipline problem and seems unable to fix it.

    A hard stare from an Alan Wyn Jones?
    Loss of a contract?

    All for an £11.6m loss
    We need to change something,

  6. We seem to totally lack any on pitch leadership. There seems to be no-one on the pitch who exudes authority and to whom the players listen and are committed to follow. The on pitch decisions are amateur at times – what on earth are we doing just before half time taking a tap penalty 5 yards from their line with our scrum on top and them down to 14 men!!? Shows no rugby nous or match intelligence whatsoever. As for Hastings’ game management and kicking from hand, don’t get me started.

    • Hastings is grossly overrated. I expect he’ll be found out at Gloucester where his name and being an age group darling won’t hold much sway.

  7. I am honestly surprised at the result especially with so many players returning to availability, and the comment about the penalty count, what is the cause?
    Are all the penalties that seem to be accrued in a match in recent times the result of pedantic refereeing? If that is the case why are they not pedantic with the basic concepts of a fair contest at scrum or lines out?
    Without having sight of the Red Card for Ioane and with little or no descriptive comment in the article it is difficult to say whether it was deserved or not, however what is deserved?
    Obviously no one at World Rugby watches Sky coverage of the League Code, even the most cursory of viewing of the match between Warrington and Leigh yesterday and the game that followed was very clear that the League referee’s have a much more, some would say, intelligent interpretation of contact above the shoulder and the new potential sin in Union of going into a tackle in too upright a position.
    And the point I drifted away from at the start of this comment, how on earth did a Warriors team of obvious quality loose against a side that is 11th out of 14 in their League.

  8. A woeful performance we never looked capable of scoring a try. Discipline is dreadful and much as I think Hastings is a really good player He is leaving and Thompson is the future he needs exposure to these games. Why Horne resigned with Glasgow goodness only knows he’d be the starting 9 anywhere else and should be the starting 9 here.
    The coach bemoans all the things that are poor – isn’t he supposed to coach to ensure they don’t happen, or am I missing something?!?

  9. Sums up Glasgow all season, poor discipline , poor skill , poor game management all in one frustrating game, seven kick-able penalties and almost none to the corner. There are too many players going through the motions on their way out the door and a few players who should be heading out the door. Not really sure where Hastings stands in all this , he certainly seems to think he is Finn 2 now a days, poor kicking and plays like a man on the way to a big pay out with Gloucester. Price slow slow and yet more slow , cannot execute a box kick to save his life , always miles in front of the kicker. Brown constantly questioning the ref and gets told off for it and still does it and that’s going to endear you to the ref how?. The positives for Glasgow Hugh Jones , his departure was a big loss , he looked the only Glasgow player capable of scoring, and him we are letting go!!!, Turner again had a another go forward game , and finally warp man Horne Jnr when he came on the whole pace of the game changed to warp speed , it was like a hurricane arrived on the field, and finally I though Lokotui was our best back row , why take him off.
    I’m not sure if our current coach who seems to think expressing frustration is the answer for Glasgow, his job is to get that team playing, to me he has failed. He trots out the same line every week after each defeat. We have finished 8th in the combined pools, we might not make the Championship next year , we have gone backwards. For people who think coach’s maketh not the team , I would say Pat Lamb at Bristol and Harlequins getting rid of Gustard and playing the best rugby in the premiership with the same players and heading for the play off’s. Glasgow were once a joy to watch, now my pulled out hair litters the sofa, and I can only vent my frustration in blog posts. A few weeks ago the Irish commentator during the Leinster game questioned why Glasgow with so many good players were so bad this year , he had no idea, but all the bad aspects of their play were there in that game also.


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