Monday 23 April 2018

Cotter's classy Clermont moving through gears

Heineken cup round-up

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

AFTER an encouraging debut at the RDS, Exeter Chiefs suffered a sobering home defeat as Clermont clocked up six tries for the second week running for a 46-12 triumph.

Vern Cotter's side look to be in rude health going into their back-to-back Pool 5 clashes with Leinster in December as they ran in tries through Julien Bonnaire, Sitiveni Sivivatu and a brace apiece from Wesley Fofana and Napolioni Nalaga.

Meanwhile, all of Toulon's points came from Englishmen as they won 22-14 at Cardiff Blues.

control

Steffon Armitage touched down and Jonny Wilkinson booted 17 points as the big-spending French side seized control of Pool 6, but Armitage's brother, Delon, was lucky to escape censure after a high no-arms tackle on Gavin Evans during the first half that saw the Blues centre taken to hospital.

In the other game in that pool, Montpellier ran in three second-half tries to claim a 33-18 win over Sale Sharks at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

With Munster getting back to winning ways in Pool 1, Saracens made light of playing their 'home' game in Brussels when seeing off Racing Metro at King Baudouin Stadium.

Having kept a clean sheet the previous week against Glasgow, tries from centurion Chris Wyles, Will Fraser and Steve Borthwick gave the London side their second successive pool win.

Vincent Clerc was both the villain and hero as Toulouse got their second Pool 2 victory with a 33-21 away success over a game Treviso side. The France wing was sin-binned in the 45th minute but returned to notch his 33rd Heineken Cup try after the hour.

Guy Noves' men were nine points down at the break but Clerc's try and another from Louis Picamoles saw them home even though hooker Christopher Tolofua was red-carded in the 76th minute.

In the same pool, there was a breathless finish at Welford Road as three tries in the final 10 minutes gave Leicester a 34-22 bonus-point win over the Ospreys.

Zebre's wait for a first win in any competition goes on: they found the going too tough in Biarritz in Pool 3. The French side ran in six tries, including a brace from scrum-half Yann Lesgourgues as they cantered to a bonus-point win.

Zebre, who sprung former Munster prop Dave Ryan from the bench, did have the last word with Dries van Schalkwyk's late try, but it was of little consolation and they sit bottom of Connacht's group.

Both games in Pool 4 were sorted out on Friday night, with Ulster continuing their unbeaten start to the season away to Glasgow, while Castres edged out Northampton in France.

Irish Independent

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