Clermont blow Chiefs away

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 18:54
Large exeter chiefs v clermont 2016 800

MATCH REPORT: Top 14 leaders Clermont Auvergne served up a five star performance to avenge their Sandy Park defeat in last season's Champions Cup and kick-off their Pool Five campaign with a 35-8 victory against the Exeter Chiefs.

The Chiefs had not only beaten the two-time finalists 31-14 at home last year, but also pipped them to the quarterfinal spot from their Pool. This time they were never at the races.

Despite taking a seventh minute lead with the wind at their backs through a Gareth Steenson penalty, the Chiefs conceded three tries in the first half and a further two after the break as they were made to wait 73 minutes before finally adding to their early score.

There were two tries from French centre Wesley Fofana, matching his performance at Sandy Park in his side's 46-12 triumph, but the physicality of the Clermont pack as the biggest difference between the two teams. They laid the platform and the back line did the rest.

Back-row man Julien Bardy scored the first try after 25 minutes as he picked up an inside pas from wing Noa Nakataci off his boot laces to score in the left corner. Morgan Parrs added a magnificent touchline conversion.

Once they got their noses in front the Frenchmen never looked back. Forwards coach Jonno Gibbes revealed they had opted to play into the wind to try to stop the Chiefs getting ahead in the opening quarter and their plan worked perfectly.

Nakataci was next to score as he profited from a break into the home 22 by Camile Lopez and then Fofana grabbed a third try two minutes before the break. Parra converted both tries and Clermont led 21-3 at half-time.

The second half saw England fullback Nick Abendanon bring up the bonus point for the visitors with a thrilling try at the posts after some magnificent off-loading. Parra added the simple conversion and the strength of the French team's defence kept on squeezing mistakes out of the Chiefs and frustrating them.

It meant Fofana was able to slice through the hoe midfield to cross for his second try at the posts following a scrum five and Pato Fernandez' conversion made it 35-3. The Chiefs were down, but not quite out.

To their credit they kept on playing and were rewarded with an 80th minute try from Sam Hill. The conversion attempt from Henry Slade summed up the home performance as it headed off somewhere towards the far corner flag.

The scorers:

For Exeter Chiefs:
Try: Hill
Pen: Steenson

For Clermont Auvergne:
Tries: Bardy, Nakaitaci, Fofana 2, Abendanon
Cons: Parra 4, Fernandez

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Kai Horstmann, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Moray Low
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Mitch Lees, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Max Bodilly

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip Van Der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic , 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Aurélien Rougerie

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

@ChampionsCup

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
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