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PREVIEW: Bordeaux seeking another home win

Wednesday 6th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Le vice-champion d'Europe clermontois sera en danger vendredi au stade Chaban-Delmas face à l'Union Bordeaux-Bègles (20h45)

Le vice-champion d'Europe clermontois sera en danger vendredi au stade Chaban-Delmas face à l'Union Bordeaux-Bègles (20h45)

Bordeaux-Begles may be propping up Pool 2 at the moment in the Champions Cup, but another home win when they host ASM Clermont Auvergne in the re-arranged round one fixture would certainly stir-up the pot.

Raphael Ibanez’ side have won six of their seven matches at Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas in all competitions this season and proved their worth once again in the Top 14 last weekend when they picked up a losing bonus-point at top of the table Racing 92 in a 23-18 defeat.

They have already met Clermont once this season, at Stade Marcel-Michelin, and emerged with a 26-26 draw. Since then they have beaten Toulouse and the Ospreys at home and could cut the gap to two points between all four teams in Pool 2 if they manage to beat last season’s beaten finalists.

Bordeaux have rediscovered their cutting edge after a bad start to the season and have scored 20 tries in their last seven games. Australian star Adam Ashley-Cooper has added extra fire-power to their attack and his fellow Wallaby, Sekope Kepu, has helped to firm up the scrum.

While Clermont were able to celebrate having six players in Guy Noves first French squad for the RBS 6 Nations – Damien Chouly, Paul Jedrasiak, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Morgan Parra, Wesley Fofana and Scott Spedding – Bordeaux had only two included. Loose head prop Jefferson Poirot is joined by Loann Goujon.

Clermont’s season has had a few blimps to date, with Racing 92 following up Bordeaux’s draw with a victory at Stade Marcel-Michelin, Exeter Chiefs scoring four tries against them in their big win at Sandy Park and the Ospreys escaping with two losing-bonus points from their Champions Cup visit to France.

This is the first of two successive away games for them, while Bordeaux have the luxury of two successive home games. Two wins for Bordeaux and they will be well in the hunt for a quarter-final place with a round six visit to Clermont to end their pool campaign.

Match Facts

  • Despite playing in the same domestic league, this will be the first meeting between the sides in Europe.
  • Bordeaux have lost their only two previous clashes against fellow French opposition in the Champions Cup, both of those games came in 1998 (v Stade Francais Paris).
  • Clermont have lost five of their six Champions Cup games away from home against French opposition, however the last two of those defeats came by losing bonus point margins.
  • Bordeaux have won five of their last six home games in European competition, including four wins in recent editions of the Challenge Cup.
  • Clermont have not lost consecutive away games in Europe since 2011/12.
  • Bordeaux have conceded more penalties per game (15.3) than any other side in this year’s competition.
  • Begles are the only side with a 100% lineout success rate in the Champions Cup still this season.
  • Clermont meanwhile are one of three sides to still have a 100% success rate in the scrum.
  • Clermont have averaged 24.3 defenders beaten per game so far, more than any other side in the tournament.
  • Despite playing just three games so far Clermont have been show more yellow cards (5) than any other side.


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REPORT: Clermont take charge in Pool 2

Friday 8th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Avec autorité et profitant d'une supériorité numérique pendant la dernière demi-heure

Avec autorité et profitant d'une supériorité numérique pendant la dernière demi-heure

ASM Clermont Auvergne have taken charge of Pool 2 in the Champions Cup after picking up a priceless away win at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Last season’s beaten finalists overtook the Ospreys with a power-packed performance that was aided by the sending off of the Bordeaux replacement lock Julien Le Devedec after 50 minutes. He had only been on the field for a minute and was dismissed for leading with his head in a fracas.

It was the second red card for Bordeaux in this season’s tournament and things got even worse for them moments later when replacement prop Francisco Gomes Kodela was given a yellow card for a late shoulder charge on the Heineken Man of the Match, Morgan Parra.

Bordeaux didn’t concede any more points while they were reduced to 13 men, but there was a final sting in the tail for the home side when Jonathan Davies released wing Noa Nakitaci to dive over in the left corner for the visitor’s third try of the night.

Lionel Beauxis notched the first points of the night with a penalty for Bordeaux, but last season’s European Player of the Year, Nick Abendanon, raced over for his fifth Champions Cup try in 11 outings for Clermont.

Para knocked over the conversion and added a penalty before Bordeaux hooker Clement Maynardier rounded off a fantastic driving line-out move with a corner try that Beauxis improved off the touchline to make it 10-10. At that stage it was anyone’s game.

But Clermont hit back just before the break with a try through Camille Lopez after a sweeping team move and Parra converted. The French international scrum half then added two penalties in the space of four minutes to extend the lead to 23-10 before the Nakitaci try rounded off an excellent away performance to give his side a two point lead at the top of Pool 2 with a vital trip to the Ospreys coming up next week.

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