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Nic Ladds 4th Dec 2008 - 12:51

Umaga hoping for better - Montpellier v Toulon

Montpellier are warm 2/9 favourites as they take on 3/1 underdogs Toulon in an all-French clash from Pool 2 of the European Challenge Cup.

Pool 2 has so far been dominated by Northampton who sit pretty at the top of the pool with ten points having drilled both Montpellier and Toulon 51-7 and 55-3 respectively.

However the fourth team in the pool Bristol, Montpellier managed a 33-15 victory while Toulon were thrashed again 39-11 leaving them rooted bottom of the pool while Montpellier sit third with four points only behind Bristol on points scored difference.

Montpellier will see this as an opportunity to get some bonus points on the board and barring heavy rain Montpellier -10 points at 10/11 appeals more than Toulon receiving 10 points at 10/11.

Toulon have a talented but ageing side and are languishing in eleventh in the Top 14 League while Montpellier are sitting in eighth and have much the better record but Toulon will be hopeful of getting something out of this match.

There are various alternative handicaps available but the best bets could be in the winning margins in a match where either Montpellier will win comfortably or Toulon could possibly snatch a narrow victory.

Montpellier to win by 11-15 at 9/2 or 16-20 at 11/2 look the call or for those who think Toulon will earn a much need victory a winning margin for the away team of 1-5 is 15/2 with 6-10 at 12/1.

Montpellier are however missing their Argentinean international Federico Todeschini who is always reliable with his boot and they will need to look elsewhere for someone to command the back line against the weak Toulon defence.

One player to watch is recently capped French international Francois Trinh-Duc who's excellent club form earned him the call up to the French squad and he will be looking to make his mark against the weak Toulon side.

Toulon are coached by former New Zealand great Tana Umaga and have a more international flavour to their team than Montpellier who have a lot of home grown talent.

Umaga has bought in the likes of former Australian internationals Matt Henjak (25/1 to score first try) and Luke Rooney (12/1 to score first try) and the ageing stars will be hoping to boost Toulon's so far dismal season.


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