DFP Header Code

Match Page - Scoreboard

Match Page - Fixed Scoreboard



Match Centre - Preview - Current Standing A v B

Match Centre - Preview - H2H

Match Centre - Preview - Form Guide

Match Centre - Preview - Last Three Meetings

Season so far

Match Centre - Preview - Season So Far A v B

Tournament record

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team A)

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team B)

PREVIEW: Bonnaire urges focus on Sale clash

Wednesday 14th January 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

Après leur double exploit face au Munster

Après leur double exploit face au Munster

Julien Bonnaire has demanded Clermont Auvergne fully focus on their trip to Sale as the tense battle to qualify from Pool 1 of the Champions Cup resumes.

The French side, beaten finalists in 2013, lead the way be a solitary point from Saracens, with two-time champions Munster three points further in arrears.

The fight to reach the last eight will go all the way to the final weekend, with Clermont hosting Saracens in what could be a decisive clash.

But former France number eight Bonnaire knows there is a job to do at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

He said: “We cannot even begin to think about next week. We know we need to be focused on the match against Sale.

“We need to negotiate this weekend’s game well if we want to continue our European adventure. The goal is simple; we have to win.

“They have nothing to play for but English clubs are always proud and confident and it is not in their habit to give up anything easily to French sides.”

Clermont will come up against one of their old boys in the form of second-row Nathan Hines. The former Scotland international was part of the team beaten by Toulon in the 2013 final in Dublin.

Hines missed the first clash between the teams due to injury, but Clermont head coach Frank Azema believes his return has galvanised the Sharks.

Azema said: “He is a player with a lot of experience and he is exemplary in his commitment and investment in the strategic approach to the game. His return has made a big difference to Sale.

“They also have exciting players like Danny Cipriani, who has come out with his best form this season, and they beat the English champions Northampton.

“We can only expect a very tough game and they will not be giving us any gifts and they will not be letting up because they are playing for pride.”

Match facts

  • Sale Sharks have lost their last three home games against French opposition. Their last win at home against a club from France was in January 2009 when they defeated Clermont 26-17. 
  • Pool 1 leaders, Clermont, have won four of their last six games away from home against English opposition. 
  • Camille Lopez has made four try assists in the Champions Cup this season; no player has managed as many as the Clermont No 10 who is also the club's leading scorer with 45 points. 
  • Three of the six tries Sale have scored in this season's tournament have come after seven or more phases; no side in the tournament has scored more tries after as many phases. 
  • Clermont have scored two tries after winning their opponents' lineout this season – no other club in the tournament has managed to score a try after a lineout steal. Both tries came against Sale in Round 2 when Clermont won 35-3 at Marcel-Michelin. 
  • Clermont have gained more metres in the Champions Cup than any other side and have averaged 509 per game in the tournament to date. 
  • The French club have also managed to beat more defenders than any other team this season, evading 88 attempted tackles in their four games. 
  • The Round 2 meeting saw a combined total of 51 defenders beaten; only one game this season has seen more defenders beaten (54 – Leinster v Wasps). 
  • Sale Sharks have lost the joint most lineouts (14) in the tournament in this season. Sale's Danny Cipriani has yet to miss a kick at goal in this season's tournament (9/9).

Match Centre - Preview - Lineups

REPORT: Clermont set for Sarries showdown

Saturday 17th January 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

ASM Clermont Auvergne will go into the final round of group matches in pole position in Pool 1 - their home showdown with second placed Saracens set to determine outright winners and automatic quarter-final qualification. - 17/01/2015 19:40

ASM Clermont Auvergne will go into the final round of group matches in pole position in Pool 1 - their home showdown with second placed Saracens set to determine outright winners and automatic quarter-final qualification. - 17/01/2015 19:40

ASM Clermont Auvergne will go into the final round of group matches in pole position in Pool 1 – their home showdown with second placed Saracens set to determine outright winners and automatic quarter-final qualification.

Clermont were given a real battle by Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium in a contest in which the lead changed hands five times before finishing strongly for a 22-13 win and the four points.
It needed a powerful drive from their pack to drive Fritz Lee over for the clinching score after Camille Lopez had kept them in the contest with his boot.
Nevertheless Clermont struck first in a tight and tense opening half through a Lopez penalty goal but the visitors were then penalised for not rolling away and Sale were promptly on level terms.
Danny Cipriani made it 10 kicks from 10 in this year's tournament after 12 minutes played and although Clermont dominated in terms of carries and possession Sale stuck to their defensive guns and refused to give an inch.
Mark Cueto was replaced by Tom Arscott before Cipriani saw his penalty goal attempt miss the target to let the French club off the hook.
Clermont continued to attack with the ball in hand but when the Sharks were penalised by Welsh referee Ian Davies at a scrum Lopez kicked Clermont back into a three-point lead.
Sharks got a line-out just inside Clermont's half after a minute or two of aerial ping pong at the start of the second half and Welshman Tim Hayes, the TMO, was called into action for a possible top tackle on Michael Haley.
The result was a yellow card for Wesley Fofana to leave Clermont a man short for 10 minutes but when the Sharks attempt a line-out ploy with Vadim Cobilas and Marc Jones the hooker put a foot into touch.
There was more work for the TMO, this time just resulting in a penalty for Sale, but some superb mauling by the Sale pack ended in referee Davies awarding a penalty try that Cipriani converted.
There was more woe for Clermont when Canadian Jamie Cudmore became their second player sent to the sin bin but there was also some return with Lopez adding a third penalty to cut the deficit to a single point.
But that was quickly turned into a two-point advantage for Clermont with a fourth Lopez penalty only for Josh Beaumont to make a superb break that resulted in a Cipriani penalty and Sale back in front.
With rain starting to make an impact on handling it was the boot of Lopez that had the next say as the Sharks were penalised at a scrum and the outside half duly punished them.
There was worse to follow when Lee was adjudged by the busy TMO to have forced his way over for a Clermont try and Lopez’s conversion took them two scores clear.

LIVE - TEST - Commentary

Match Page - Summary

Match Page - Timeline


Match Report - Team Stats (Attack)


Match Report - Team Stats (Defence)


Match Report - Team Stats (Kicking)


Match Report - Team Stats (Breakdown)

Set Plays

Match Report - Team Stats (Set Piece)


Match Report - Team Stats (Discipline)

Match Page - Player Performance