While their rivalry at the top of the table has been recurring over the past decade, CO and MHR find themselves this season battling to avoid the relegation barrage. An improbable situation for those who faced each other in the final 3 seasons ago.
The steeple rivalry began in 2011 between Castres and Montpelliérains. During their first jump-off in the Top 6, the MHR deprived the CO of a semi-final by winning in Castres on May 14, 2011. That year, Montpellier lost in the final against Toulouse. Still in the jump-off, the CO took its revenge on the Hérault residents the following year, then was knocked out in the semi-final by the Toulouse residents. Still the same dam in 2013, the CO still beats Montpellier, and goes all the way beating Toulon in the final. In 2014, it was in the semi-finals that Héraultais and Tarnais were face to face, the CO still winning the duel lost to Toulon in the last match. In 2015 the two rivals disappeared from the Top 6, but they saw each other again in 2016 still in the jump-off, this time, on their lawn, Montpellier won before falling in the semi-final against Toulon. In 2017 the MHR and the CO are still in barrage but not against each other. They are both eliminated, to better find themselves in 2018 in the final where the CO emerges as the winner. Castres did not qualify in 2019 and Montpellier lost in the play-off. In 2020, while the season is shortened, the 2 clubs begin the vertiginous descent which brings them this week to the fight for maintenance.
How did the two clubs which jointly run for the Top 14 honor roll for a decade come to this situation? Mauricio Reggiardo the manager of Castres Olympique gave us his analysis. “The accounting situation of Montpellier and Castres is comparable, the courses are a little similar in recent years, but the clubs are not alike”. Reggiardo specifies his thoughts: “Presidents do not work the same. In Castres we build on the long term, there is more stability. The president trusts his staff, even in this situation which is not simple. Even s ‘There have been adjustments, the staff has the confidence of the president. At this level, on the side of Montpellier, it is less the case, it is less stable. And then it is not the same club, not the same city, not the same atmosphere, not the same project. In Castres during the last 2 games, we found ourselves on our values, always the same. Yes, we made mistakes, yes but we remain united. Montpellier we often clashed. There were end of cycles for us. Now there is a new beginning “.