Clermont seek closure in Dublin

Thu, 13 Dec 2012 13:11
Large morganparraleinster Large morganparraclermont Large morganparraclermontgoal kick

Clermont will be determined to avoid another Dublin disaster when they take on defending champions Leinster in a crunch clash this weekend.

Clermont will be determined to avoid another Dublin disaster when they go head-to-head with defending champions Leinster in a crunch Round Four Pool Five clash at a packed Aviva Stadium this weekend.

The French giants go into the contest five points clear of the champions following their edgy 15-12 win at Stade Marcel Michelin - their 51st straight home win - that brought a halt to Leinster's 17-match unbeaten competition run.

However, the memories are still painful for Clermont of their 24-8 collapse at the same stage of the 2010/11 tournament against the same opponents at the same venue in front of a crowd of 44,873.

International scrumhalf Morgan Parra, who kicked a perfect four from four penalty goal attempts in Round Three and has amassed 215 points in 41 European appearances, is confident the lessons learnt two years ago will prevent any repeat.

"We've already had the chance to play this double header and after conceding a defensive bonus point at home we went to Dublin with good intentions before exploding," he said.

"We don't want to relive that experience. We'll need to show that we've made some progress."

For their part, the 2009, 2011 and 2012 champions are looking to pick up a victory that would keep them in the hunt for quarterfinal qualification.

Leinster manager Guy Easterby said a win for his side was "vital" but added: "I don't think the result on Saturday is going to determine who is top of the group or who goes through from the group.

"We just see it as a game we have to go out and win. It's not all about topping the group. There are opportunities further down the line. Plus the fact that there are two more games, it's not like the pool finishes on Saturday evening.

"We've got a couple of tough fixtures left, as have Clermont, and our group is particularly competitive.

"With the three games we've got left, we've got two at home and one away and we'll just be looking to do our best in all of those."

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10