Two Montpellier teammates brawl with each other before kick off

RUGBYU-EUR-CUP-MONTPELLIER-LEINSTER

It is not uncommon to see tensions boil over during rugby union matches.

The highly physical and emotionally charged nature of matches often sees brief scuffles between players break out on the field.

However, when the altercation occurs between two players on the same table-topping team - before a ball has even been kicked - the situation becomes entirely more shocking.

This incredible scenario unfolded prior to Montpellier's Top 14 clash at home to Racing 92 at Altrad Stadium on Saturday.

Teammates and club staff were forced to intervene as ex-South African international hooker Bismarck du Plessis and prop Mohamed Haouas came to blows during their sides pre-match warm up - with footage of their scrap being captured by French TV.

A number of punches were exchanged between the pair before they were forcibly separated.

The reasons behind the explosive bust-up are not yet known, but the fracas did little to damage Montpellier's performance on the pitch.

They ran in five tries to record a dominant 41-3 victory, securing a bonus point in the process.

South African centre Jan Serfontein starred with two tries, whilst Timoci Nagusa, Nico Janse van Rensburg, and Louis Picamoles also crossed the line for the hosts. 

The win for Montpelier opens up an eight point gap at the top of the French top division, ahead of Saturday's opponents Racing - who are their nearest pursuers in the race for top spot.

Montpellier boss Vern Cotter is sure to have been delighted by the emphatic win, if not by the pre-match conduct of some of his players.

His side had lost 31-29 at Agen last week and were missing key players Benjamin Fall, Yacouba Camara, and Kieran Galletier - who were on Six Nations duty as France defeated England.

Montpellier even survived a second half yellow card for prop Jannie du Plessis as they routed Saturday's opponents. 

With video of the fight between du Plessis and Haouas now having gone viral, Cotter is sure to want to keep the focus on his side's on-field exploits and will no doubt expect a more united front from his team in their pre-match preparations in future. 

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