Newcastle Falcons are still waiting for their first win of 2011 after drawing a blank against Montpellier the Amlin Challenge Cup.
The Falcons lost 6-0 at Kingston Park against the high-flying French outfit, currently third in the Top 14.
But the hosts, who fielded a largely second-string side, put in a gutsy display that came close to yielding several tries. However Glen Townson fumbled early in the second half with the try line beckoning, and Montpellier held out late attacks sparked by Jimmy Gopperth and featuring Townson and fellow replacements James Fitzpatrick and 18-year-old scrum-half Joel Hodgson.
While the Falcons failed to capitalise on their opportunities Montpellier scrum-half and captain Benoit Paillaugue made the most of his, landing a pair of first haf penalties that separated the teams at both half and full-time. However, Montpellier’s failure to pick up a bonus point has left the door for qualification open for Exeter Chiefs, who they meet in the final round at Stade Yves du Manoir next week.