It’s safe to say that this week has been a pretty good one for Montpellier in the French Top 14. They scored a comfortable 42-13 win over Brive to go third in the League before securing the services of former Clermont – and current Scotland boss – Vern Cotter for next season.
The Kiwi will replace ex-Springbok coach Jake White as of June 2017 and has signed for three seasons. Cotter will step aside for Gregor Townsend to take the role of National coach, while the future of White is as yet, unknown.
Key to Montpellier’s bonus point win over Brive was Fijian import Nemani Nadolo, who scored a clinical hat-trick. Having transferred from the New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders, Nadolo has made an impressive and typically physical start to his stint in France.
His tries, although simple walk-ins were the result of some pin-point accurate kicking. The first, a deft cross-field kick from fly-half Demetri Catrakalis dipped brilliantly into Nadolo’s arms and opened Montpellier’s account.
While the second was due to a fumble from Brive winger Sevanaia Galala, the third was no doubt the best of the three. Scrum-half Kelian Galletier had virtually no time to get his grubber kick in before the upcoming defence got to him, but the kick sat up beautifully for Nadolo to complete his hat-trick midway through the second half.
Montpellier have certainly found their form at the beginning of the new season and have a potent weapon in Nadolo. Can they keep it up for a stab at the title?