Top 14 Orange
Trinh-Duc delights in play-off spot
Ian Moriarty
May 9, 2011
Montpellier fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc celebrates their spot in the play-offs, Montpellier v Toulon, French Top 14,  Yves-du-Manoir stadium, Montpellier, France, May 07, 2011
Francois Trinh-Duc celebrates Montpellier's play-off spot © Getty Images

Montpellier fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc paid tribute to his team-mates and the club's supporters following Saturday's win over Toulon, a result that pushed the club into the Top 14 play-offs for the first time in their history.

Trinh-Duc produced a Man of the Match performance in the 27-3 victory over Philippe Saint-André's side, clinching a top-six place and denying Toulon a spot in the Heineken Cup next year.

"It's an indescribable feeling," an elated Trinh-Duc told Midi Libre. "It's historic. To achieve it playing in the manner that we did, supported by an extraordinary public, it's awesome. Magic.

"Everyone has played a role in this achievement. At the start of the season, we promised each other that we would do everything to survive. To qualify for the play-offs on the last day is even better."

Despite having the third lowest budget in the Top 14, Castres qualified for the post-season for the second time in succession. Coach Laurent Labit modestly declared he had lady luck to thank for their 10-29 win at Perpignan.

"We've had enough occasions to complain about bad luck to appreciate the times when it has benefited us," Labit told La Depeche du Midi.

"Saturday in Perpignan, our first try was an interception and the second of Marc Andreu's came from a garryowen and a rebound. Lady luck left us during the season and returned, I hope, at the right time."

Meanwhile, Toulouse coach Guy Noves dismissed suggestions that his team are favourites for the Top 14, despite the fact that they finished the regular season in first after a 15-6 win against Clermont Auvergne.

"You can say what you like, it does make any difference to me," he told Midi Olympique. "In 20 years I've never understood why someone is a favourite or not.

"The fact we've finished as leaders means nothing. Toulouse have less than one chance in two of being champions. That's good. It's better than nothing. But I don't know of the statistics answer the question."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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