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Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Montpellier's class should tell against jaded Castres

Star names at home on big stage

Former All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden is among the star names in the Montpellier set-up
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Montpellier v Castres
Sky Sports Mix, 7.45pm Saturday

Montpellier went into the 2017-18 campaign with a host of big-name signings drafted into their squad and with highly experienced Kiwi coach Vern Cotter installed at the helm. They were rewarded with top spot in the regular season and are nine-point favourites against surprise finalists Castres in the season's showcase.

While the favourites cruised into the final with a 40-14 semi-final success over Lyon, who had gone through extra time the previous weekend at Toulon, Castres have had to do it the hard way, beating Toulouse 23-11 in the qualifiers then edging past Racing 19-14 in the semis.

Those are impressive results but they are sure to have taken a lot out of a Castres outfit who were dogged by inconsistency in their campaign to finish sixth and last of the playoff qualifiers.

Montpellier won both regular-season clashes with their final opponents, 22-17 at Castres in September then 45-7 on home soil in March, and this should be another convincing success.

Montpellier hit the 40-point mark in their final five home matches, including last weekend's semi-final, and with the Test experience in their ranks should not be fazed by running out at the Stade de France.

Recommendation
Montpellier to win by more than 12 points
1pt 5-4 Betway, BoyleSports

Already advised by Graham Woods
Montpellier to win Top 14 Grand Final
1pt 7-2 August 26, 2017


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Castres have had to do it the hard way, beating Toulouse 23-11 in the qualifiers then edging past Racing 19-14 in the semis
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