Montpellier move level at Top 14 summit


Francois Steyn kicked 16 points despite spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin as Montpellier overcame Bordeaux Begles 31-26 in Top 14.

Friday's win moves Montpellier up to second in the table, level with leaders Clermont Auvergne and third-placed La Rochelle on 46 points.

Visitors Bordeaux took an early lead courtesy of Jean-Baptiste Dubie's try, only to be pegged back by a Steyn penalty and Nemani Nadolo's score.

However, a high tackle from Steyn on Blair Connor saw the South African yellow carded, Simon Hickey levelling at 10-10 going into-half time.

Vincent Martin's try restored Montpellier's lead before Hickey was sin-binned for cynically preventing Nic White from playing the ball quickly and, after he returned, Louis-Benoit Madaule followed suit for a similar offence on the same player.

That indiscretion came at 18-13 with just under 20 minutes to play, Steyn knocking the ensuing kick through, but Bordeaux were soon back to within one point as Baptiste Serin went over and Hickey converted.

Steyn and Hickey traded further penalties, until Joe Tomane made the game safe for Montpellier with a score two minutes from time, Hickey's last-gasp penalty salvaging a losing bonus point for his side.