European Challenge Cup

Montpellier clinch maiden Challenge Cup triumph

Jesse Mogg came off the bench to score both Montpellier tries as the French club claimed their first piece of major European silverware in a 26-19 Challenge Cup final victory over Harlequins.

An early injury to Benjamin Fall necessitated Mogg's introduction after 17 minutes and the Australian made an almost instant impact by touching down in the corner.

Jake White's men had allowed Quins - the most successful club in Europe's secondary competition - to hack away at their lead after taking control of the first half, but Mogg was on hand again to re-establish the gap.

A well-worked try and two Demetri Catrakilis penalties moved Montpellier 26-9 in front, and a late fightback, inspired by a Marland Yarde try, proved too little too late for Quins, who now say goodbye to director of rugby Conor O'Shea, off to take charge of the Italian national team.

Nick Evans got Quins off the mark from the tee but it was Montpellier who looked stronger in the early stages and, after Catrakilis pulled the French side level, Mogg crossed for the first try of the match.

Montpellier picked up the pieces from a careless Danny Care knock back on the right wing to spread the ball left with the aid of a superb Francois Steyn pass, allowing Mogg to go over in the corner.

Catrakilis added the extras and a second penalty as Montpellier moved clear, but Quins, who paid tribute to Seb Adeniran-Olule - killed in a road traffic collision this week - prior to kick off,  fought back to trail by just four points at the interval.

Evans, who had missed a penalty prior to Mogg's touchdown, rediscovered his touch to split the posts twice before the break, but Quins made too slow a start to the second half.

Persistent Montpellier eventually unlocked the Quins defence for a second time in the 13th phase of a relentless attack when a high Benoit Paillaugue kick from under the posts was collected by a leaping Mogg to plant into the turf out wide.

Tim Visser squandered a similar opportunity at the other end before Yarde collected a Mike Brown grubber to power over and - with the help of a Ben Botica conversion - reduce the deficit to 10 with seven minutes to play.

Botica shaved a further three points off the lead to pull Quins within a converted try but was left punching the ground in frustration after thoughtlessly kicking away possession with the clock having ticked past 80, handing victory to Montpellier.

The result sees the Top 14 awarded a seventh Champions Cup berth for next season, with Castres currently in line to benefit ahead of the final three games of the season.