A trip to Montpellier is never easy, especially on a Friday night when you have to adjust your preparation a little and despite not playing our best rugby of the season, the lads worked hard and, in the end, it was just about enough.
We started off brightly and took a well-deserved 13-6 lead into the break. We stretched that lead to 20-7 but then somehow let them back into it and going into the last two or three minutes it was touch and go. Fortunately though we had another gear and Gavin Duffy's penalty coupled with a try from David Strettle saw us through.
It was a decent enough performance although, at times, I thought we were a little bit disorganised in allowing them to get on top, and that's something we need to work on. However, I thought our discipline in defence was good, Nick Easter's captaincy was a bonus and there were excellent performances again from Will Skinner and Nicolas Spanghero. All in all, it was a good experience for all the lads.
Although we did the job we set out to do in Montpellier, it looks very likely that we will be playing for the Pool Four runners-up spot this weekend when we take on Connacht in our final game. Bath lead the group and have Montpellier at home left, so you have to fancy them to get the five points and wrap things up.
That's something we have to accept now, it seems, but it makes it all the more frustrating because we competed very well against Bath both home and away and were very unlucky not to come away with a result on both occasions.
Although we will be confident going into the Connacht game, you can never be too confident. They are a good side, who have shocked a few teams in the Celtic League this season and but for a bit of luck, might have beaten us at their place earlier in the campaign.
One thing's for sure, we are going to have to remain focused and take absolutely nothing for granted; we are in no doubt that this is going to be very tough. This is an important competition for us, as it sets us up nicely for a tough end to the season and we want to do well.
I'm happy to say the injury situation has improved somewhat, which is really important for us. As I said last week, we have a mammoth end-of-season in front of us where we have to play all of the top sides. While 30 points in the Premiership is an achievement for us given the start we made, there are plenty more still to play for. We're going to need all our resources.
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