Saturday 21 April 2018

Grenoble hammered at home

Nemani Nadolo scored 15 points as Fiji beat Italy
Nemani Nadolo scored 15 points as Fiji beat Italy

John Fallon

Grenoble may well be concentrating solely on the European Challenge Cup by the time they host Connacht next month.

Their hopes of bidding for a Top 14 play-off spot suffered a grievous blow at the weekend when they were blown away by Clermont Auvergne in an astonishing match.

Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast's men were fancied on Friday night at Stade des Alpes but it went disastrously wrong from the outset and they found themselves 21-0 down after just nine minutes!

David Strettle, Jonathan Davies and a hat-trick from the Fijian-born French international Noa Nakaitaci made it 38-5 by the interval.

New Zealander Rory Grice, who scored the previous week in the win away to Stade Francais, scored a try in either half for the home side but the No 8's efforts put little gloss on a comprehensive 45-12 defeat.

The loss leaves Grenoble in 10th place in the league on 33 points but relegation is not an concern as Oyonnax are bottom on 14 points, with Agen on 15 points in the other relegation spot.

Stade Francais, the reigning champions, are on 26 points in 12th place.

Grenoble are now 12 points adrift of Montpellier in sixth place and face an uphill battle to bridge that gap with eight matches left.

Grenoble face a searching test tomorrow night when they travel to play a Toulon side who slipped to third in the table with a 19-14 loss away to La Rochelle.

Irish Independent

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