Montpellier overpower Dragons to set up Harlequins final


The Dragons suffered a third dose of last-four heartbreak in the European Challenge Cup as Montpellier produced a powerful display to triumph 25-12 and secure a final meeting with Harlequins.

Saturday's match at Altrad Stadium brought together two teams that have experienced contrasting domestic seasons, Montepellier sitting second in France's Top 14 while their opponents languish in the lower reaches of the Pro12.

And Montpellier certainly looked a class above their opposition, the hosts' pack totally dominant as the Dragons followed up previous heavy defeats at this stage of the Challenge Cup in 2007 and 2015 with another semi-final exit.

Dorian Jones missed an early chance to put the Welsh region - shock victors over reigning champions Gloucester in the previous round - ahead, but Montpellier were firmly on top thereafter.

Three penalties from Demetri Catrakilis and one from Benoit Paillaugue opened up a comfortable advantage as the Dragons struggled to match the physicality of Montpellier.

Another three-pointer followed from Catrakilis after 55 minutes and Montpellier effectively secured victory on the hour mark when Bismarck du Plessis peeled away from a driving maul to touch down for the game's first try.

To their credit, the Dragons mustered an immediate response through wing Hallam Amos, who crossed following a delightful pass from Wales team-mate Taulupe Faletau.

That try had been set up by an initial break from Carl Meyer, who added a second for the Dragons late on.

Yet Montpellier were excellent value for their win and their imposing forwards will now seek to inspire victory over English club Harlequins in next month's final at Grand Stade de Lyon.