Sport Munster Rugby

Wednesday 24 September 2014

European Watch: Clermont Auvergne issue early warning

John Fallon

Published 29/08/2014 | 02:30

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Clermont's fullback Nick Abendanon in action during a 30-26 home win over Grenoble. Photo credit: THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Clermont's fullback Nick Abendanon in action during a 30-26 home win over Grenoble. Photo credit: THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Clermont Auvergne, who Munster will take on in the back-to-back clashes in December in the new European Rugby Champions Cup, have started the new Top 14 season with two wins.

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Both wins, a 30-26 home win over Bernard Jackman’s Grenoble and a 21-6 win away to Brive at the weekend, have been achieved without any of their backs scoring a try so far.

All three tries in the opening day win came from forwards while on Saturday four penalties and a drop goal from French international Camile Lopez, signed over the summer from relegated Perpignan, and a brace of penalties from Morgan Parra, saw them home.

This evening they will host Montpellier as they bid to maintain their winning start to the new season.

Sale Sharks, Munster’s first opponents in the new competition on October 18 at AJ Bell Stadium, enjoyed a 22-15 win in their only pre-season encounter when a penalty try and touchdowns from Tom Arscott and Will Cliff saw them overcome relegated Worcester Warriors on Saturday.

Saracens, who visit Thomond Park on October 24, wrap up their pre-season campaign away to Bedford Blues this evening following two impressive outings.

They defeated London Scottish 40-5 in their opening preparation game and followed it up with a 39-5 win over Ospreys a week ago.

Irish Independent

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