The tightest: the 2011 tiebreaker
Qualified for the first time in the final phase of the Top 14, Montpellier is not a favorite in Castres for the first play-off of the season. The CO even quickly scored the first try of the match thanks to Ibrahim Diarra. But the team, coached at the time by Fabien Galthié, has caught up and even advanced thanks to the confident foot of Martin Bustos Moyano.
A minute and a half before the siren, the Tarn striker Romain Teulet missed the long penalty that would have allowed Castres to return to the front. The MHR will then advance to the final after a narrow victory against Racing in the half (26-25), but will be defeated by Toulouse at the Stade de France (15-10).
François Trinh-Duc drops the ball against Castres in a play-off in 2011. (Rondeau / L’Équipe)
The most vengeful: the 2012 bombing
A year after losing at home, the CO recovered with authority by overwhelmingly defeating Montpellier during a bombing moved to Toulouse, at the Ernest-Wallon Stadium. Many in the crowd felt the referee was being too lenient when he only showed Tarnpe’s Thierry Lacrampe a yellow card after a mistimed challenge from behind 70 minutes into the game.
Pierre Bernard and Romain Teulet are in charge of reconverting the numerous fouls of the Hérault to ensure a clear success, despite the exclusion of Joe Tekori in the game. In the semifinals, the CO will fall against the Stade Tolousain, a few minutes. miles, at the Stadium (24-15).
Thierry Lacrampe escapes against Montpellier in the 2012 play-offs. (Rondeau / L’Équipe)
The most foundational: the 2013 dam
For the third year in a row, the CO receives Montpellier in the play-offs. Back at their Pierre-Antoine stadium (now called Pierre-Fabre), the Tarnais faced strong resistance from Montpellier for 40 minutes, wearing red shirts for the occasion. But at the beginning of the second period, the former brive Antonie Claassen forced the blocking of the melee.
Effective against the posts, Rory Kockott gives his team a huge advantage, which the MHR will never be able to fill. After this serene victory, Castres will surprise Clermont in the half in Nantes (25-9) and then win the Brennus Shield in Saint-Denis against the Toulon Navy (19-14).
Antonie Claassen facing Montpellier’s tough defense in the play-offs in 2013. (F. Mons / L’Équipe)
The most suffocating: the semifinals of 2014
Castres – Montpellier: 22-19 (aet)
Qualified in extremis in the final phase, Castres beat Clermont in the play-offs and met his old enemy from Montpellier for the fourth year in a row. At the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Lille, under a strong northern sun, François Trinh-Duc makes a good descent but it is the CO who takes advantage thanks to a Claassen try identical to the one he scored a year earlier on the 8th Tarn . . MHR All Black winger Rene Ranger closes the gap and the two teams finish the 80 minutes tied.
In overtime, a drop from the Seremaia Baï gives Castres a bit of an advantage. Benefiting from a well-placed penalty that could make them go down to 22-22, Montpellier hesitated and decided to get in touch. Unsuccessful. In the final, the CO will fail in its search for a double against the vengeful Varois (18-10).
Seremaia Baï baptizes the fall of Castres’ victory against Montpellier in the semifinals, in 2014. (J. Prévost / L’Équipe)
The most unbalanced: the 2016 dam
Montpellier hosts the CO for the first time in the final phase and does not miss the opportunity to take revenge after three defeats in a row. More powerful, the Heraultais, then coached by South African Jake White, set a great pace that the Tarn team only manages to maintain with difficulty.
Timoci Nagusa scored the first attempt of the match at the start of the match against Paul Willemse, not yet a French international, and Paul Spies broke the military defense in the second period. This great success, however, did not give enough impetus to the MHR, as it was defeated in the semifinals by the RCT of Rennes (27-18).
Pierre Spies fired Alexandre Bias from his play-offs in 2016. (Sy. Thomas / L’Équipe)
The most memorable: the 2018 final
First of the regular season, Montpellier advances to the Stade de France with the legitimate status of favorite, even more so after their card in the half against Lyon (40-14). For his part, Castres, sixth, had to eliminate Toulouse and then Racing to reach the final, where no one expected. It was probably because they had nothing to lose that the Tarnais played without complexes, scandalously dominating the MHR.
With a sublime overflow frame, Julien Dumora planted the first attempt just before the break and gave the CO a big lead. Then Christophe Urios’ team scored the point at the end of the match thanks to Sitiveni Mafi. Then it is the 5th, and so far the last, Shield of Brennus erected by Castres Olympique (1949, 1950, 1993, 2013, 2018).
The Castrais raise the shield of Brennus after their victory against Montpellier in the final, in 2018. (P. Lahalle / L’Équipe)