Stade Montois: Results and History in Pro D2 and Top 14
Stade Montois Highlights and History.
Stade Montois represents the rich rugby heritage of the Landes with a glorious history that dates back more than a century. The former French champions are now one of the top clubs in Pro D2. It finished top of its Pro D2 group in the recently concluded 21/22 season, but a semifinal defeat, followed up by a playoff defeat, put an end to its Top 14 ambitions.
Founding and Early Years
Stade Montois began its journey in 1908, but it did not make headlines at national levels until the ‘40s. The club experienced its most successful era during the presidency of Camille Pedarré between 1946 and 1976. The club developed an exquisite playing style branded as ‘’champagne rugby’’ in this period, which made it the most entertaining side to watch in France.
1949-1953: French Championship Finals
In 1949, the club reached its first France championships final. The club had dropped to the second division only three years earlier.
1949 Vice-Champions of France
This final of the 1948-1949 championship has the particularity of having been played twice, the first match, taking place under torrential rain, ending in a 3-3 draw.
Unfortunately, in the rematch, it was Castres Olympique captain Jean Matheu-Cambas who finally lifted the trophy after his side raced to a 14-3 victory in the rematch.
1953 Vice-Champions of France
In 1952, Stade Montois made it to the semifinals; the following year, it became runner-up again. The club lost the championship final once more in 1959.
1960-1963: Three Consecutive Yves du Manoir Wins and French Championship
Stade Montois ended its wretched luck in the finals with three consecutive Challenge Yves du Manoir wins in 1960, 1961, and 1962.
1963: French Championship Win
In 1963, Stade Montois finally won the French championship for the first time. Beating US Dax in a Landes derby in the final added more joy to the celebration for the Stade Montois faithful.
1964: Vice European Champions
In 1964, a win in the FIRA European Cup of Champions Clubs semifinals over Hanover placed Stade Montois within one match of European glory. But the club’s poor luck in the finals came back to haunt it as the referee announced Grivita Rosie as the winner under peculiar circumstances.
The referee sent off André Boniface in the second half, but the Stade Montois captain refused to leave the field. After altercating for minutes, the referee announced the Romanian outfit as the winner. Grivita Rosie was already 10-0 up by then.
The 1970s: Instability Begins
After a few more final and semifinal appearances, Stade Montois entered a period of instability in the ‘70s.
The club was demoted to group B in 1973 when the Elite division got reshuffled to 32 teams from 64. However, the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) reversed it’s decision the next year and Stade Montois got back to the crème de la crème of French rugby.
However, The Bees descended to Group B once again in 1977, before getting back to Group A in 1978, only to drop back to Group B again one year later.
1980-2000: A Rollercoaster Ride
The club continued to endure a rollercoaster ride after the seventies, with repeated relegations and promotions. Three successive relegations in the ‘90s plunged the club to the fourth tier of French rugby.
The Modern Era: In and Out of First Division
The club picked itself up in subsequent years and quickly returned to professional levels. In 2002, Stade Montois won the Pro D2 to make a return to the Top 16. However, it was relegated immediately in 2003 but returned to the division in 2004. This time the club survived the top flight for four years before getting relegated in 2008.
The club’s return to Pro D2 proved to be short-term again. A playoff win against Racing 92 brought it back to the Top 14 in 2009. It was then in and out of the Top 14 until its final descent into Pro D2 2013. Since then, it has been a mainstay in Pro D2.