Top 14

Montpellier not in 'downward spiral' ahead of Challenge Cup final

Jake White does not believe Montpellier will head to the European Challenge Cup final in a "downward spiral" after suffering defeat to La Rochelle on Saturday.

White rested a number of players for the Top 14 clash at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, where second-placed Montpellier's 10-match winning streak in all competitions ended with a 36-10 loss.

The French side subsequently head into Friday's Challenge Cup final against Harlequins on the back of a defeat, but the South African is not concerned about a rapid loss of form.

"In South Africa it's not like this. In France, it is a negative spiral. It's always like that. They say it's a disaster, the season is over, it's not possible to win the Top 14. But I'm different," White told Rugbyrama.

"It's the first loss in 11 games but it's not a disaster for Montpellier.

"I changed the group to come to La Rochelle but that's no excuse. Some on the group had not played much lately, it was very hard to find cohesion.

"It was a good opportunity for the young players. I told them after the game the Top 14 is very hard.

"If you had told me earlier in the season we would be second or third in the standings and in the Challenge Cup final, I would have been glad."