Lagarde fires improving Agen past Montpellier


Lowly Agen reached above themselves to thump Montpellier 29-10 in France’s Top 14 on Sunday and climb to mid-table largely thanks to fly-half Raphael Lagarde.

Having returned this season to Agen, Lagarde scored a try, a conversion and four penalties in a committed performance from the 30-year-old journeyman against one of his former clubs.

Montpellier scored a nifty try on 25 minutes through Yvan Reilhac but Agen overran them for much of the match.

Montpellier coach Xavier Garbajosa said his side only had themselves to blame.

“The best team won,” he said. “There are no excuses. We could have played all night and we wouldn’t have found a way past them.”

His delighted Agen counterpart Christophe Laussucq said his side had finally shown their true colours after a poor start to the season.

“I hope now my boys will realise what they are capable of. We came very close to a surprise at Pau. Here I was impressed with the spirit we showed and that saw us score another try at the end.”

That try was scored by speedster Benito Masilvu of Fiji to euphoric scenes.

On Saturday front-runners Lyon and Bordeaux-Begles made it four wins from four in the Top 14 while champions Toulouse slipped to their third defeat in four matches.

Toulouse, significantly weakened by World Cup call-ups, were playing their third match on the road having already lost 30-25 to Bordeaux in the opening round and 22-12 at Lyon.

Newly-promoted Bayonne climbed up to fifth with their win over Castres.

Four penalties from Fajardo and a try from Aymeric Luc put them 17-3 up at the break and, although the 2018 champions came back strongly in the second half, the Basques held out for the win.



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