Clermont shift focus to final goal

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10:52
Large sitivenisivivatuharlequins Large naipolioninalagaharlequinstry Large vern cotter h s

Clermont may have celebrated skipper Aurelien Rougerie's 50th European Cup outing with a 16-13 triumph at Harlequins on Saturday, but they don't want to stop there.

Clermont may have celebrated skipper Aurelien Rougerie's 50th European Cup outing by winning Pool Four with their 16-13 triumph at Harlequins on Saturday, but they don't want to stop there.

The team that ended up as runners-up in last season's tournament, winning every game up to the final against Toulon in Dublin, have now set themselves the task of winning their final pool game to try to earn a home game in the quarterfinals.

Clermont receive fellow Top 14 side Racing Metro at Stade Marcel Michelin in Round Six. Racing beat them at home in Round One, but have not won a game since then.

"A home quarterfinal definitely helps and that will be our aim and ambition next week. We have qualified now and that's positive," said Clermont coach Vern Cotter.

"Next week we have a big game against our rivals Racing Metro, which will be a stern test for us at home, and hopefully we can get a few more points and be in a better position in the play-offs."

Harlequins pushed Clermont all the way at the Twickenham Stoop and led early on thanks to a great piece of skill from England scrumhalf Danny Care that paved the way for a Matt Hopper try.

But the current leaders of the Top 14 hauled themselves back into the contest with Napolioni Nalaga's 23rd European Cup try in 28 games and went on to record their seventh successive away win in pool matches.

"We weren't particularly efficient in the first half, we had a couple of scoring opportunities and missed them and I was worried that we wouldn't get many in the game and we squandered those two," added Cotter.

"But we managed to come back and wear them down and then we did get opportunities in the second half and we managed to score from them. It was a tight game, I would have liked to have won the last scrum and not gone through the last 20 seconds nervously.

"The boys readdressed things at half-time and we wanted to play the game down in their half which we did. Then we applied more pressure and get some points.

"We had to try and relax, be more composed and stick to a plan we wanted to put in place. Even then I think we lost a lot of ball in the second half but managed to score the last try, which gave us a bit of breathing space and enabled us to get the win."

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Fri, 04 December 2015
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h05 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Edinburgh 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Sale Sharks 19h45 Kingsholm
Sat, 05 December 2015
Treviso v Scarlets 15h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 15h00 Scotstoun
Harlequins v London Irish 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Northampton Saints 15h15 Recreation Ground
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 17h30 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 06 December 2015
Dragons v Munster 14h30 Rodney Parade
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Zebre v Ospreys 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 2 2 0 0 9
Toulouse 2 1 0 1 4
Oyonnax 1 0 0 1 1
Ulster 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Ospreys 2 1 0 1 6
Clermont Auvergne 1 1 0 0 5
Exeter Chiefs 2 1 0 1 5
Bordeaux 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 2 2 0 0 8
Racing Metro 1 1 0 0 5
Scarlets 2 0 0 2 1
Glasgow Warriors 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 2 2 0 0 10
Munster 1 1 0 0 5
Stade Francais 1 0 0 1 0
Treviso 2 0 0 2 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 2 2 0 0 9
Bath 1 1 0 0 4
Leinster 2 0 0 2 1
Toulon 1 0 0 1 0