Someone will crack, says Clermont's boss

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:28
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EUROPEAN CUP SEMIFINAL: Fans could be in for a festival of attacking rugby in Sunday's second European Champions Cup semifinal between Clermont and Leinster, the French team's head coach Franck Azema said on Saturday.

The two best attacks still in the competition go face-to-face in Lyon and while Azema said they may try to play cagily, to begin with, someone will crack at some point and the two sides will go toe to toe.

"It's part of our DNA and it's part of their DNA," said Azema.

"Maybe there will be moments of observation where we'll both be trying to manage the game, but it's sure that at some point it will crack on one side or the other.

"There will be that desire to give everything to break the line and get an advantage,"

Leinster are the competition's top scorers with 35 tries in seven matches already, although Clermont are not far behind with 28 of their own - Wasps had scored 30 but were knocked out by Leinster in the last round.

When asked in what area Leinster are strongest, Azema said there were too many to count.

"There isn't one area in particular because they're a very structured team, playing very pragmatic rugby," said Azema.

"Everything is worked out and associated with their spirit: lots of ferocity and commitment on every area of the pitch and every aspect of the game.

"The line-out, perhaps, is a great platform to launch from, but they're also good at playing from inside their own half with an excellent kicking game, lots of commitment in the rucks, a very aggressive defence that pushes up high, almost inversely, and systematically looks to break the gainline.

"It's no surprise they're at this level,"

Leinster won the European Cup three times in four years from 2009 to 2012 but have not reached the final since.

Clermont were beaten finalists in 2013 and 2015, both times to Toulon.

Last season, both Clermont and Leinster finished bottom of their pools.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Blue Bulls v Western Province 12h30 Loftus Versfeld
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Treviso 0 0 0 0 0
Toulon 0 0 0 0 0
Scarlets 0 0 0 0 0
Bath 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Harlequins 0 0 0 0 0
Ulster 0 0 0 0 0
Wasps 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 111
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 0 0 0 0 90
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 0 0 0 0 0
Northampton Saints 0 0 0 0 0
Saracens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Ospreys 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Glasgow Warriors 0 0 0 0 0
Leinster 0 0 0 0 0
Montpellier 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Castres 0 0 0 0 0
Leicester Tigers 0 0 0 0 0
Munster 0 0 0 0 0
Racing Metro 0 0 0 0 0