After a stubborn and indecisive first period, Clermont finally cracked on his lawn against the Leicester Tigers (10-29) and sees his chances of seeing the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup dwindle.
Clermont had a lot to do but only lasted 40 minutes. The reception of the leaders of the English championship, the Leicester Tigers, saw the men of Jono Gibbes not hold on the length and greatly mortgage their chances of seeing the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup. The start of the match saw the two teams gauge each other but it was the Jaunards who struck first shortly before the end of the first quarter of an hour. The multiplication of playing time allowed the Clermontois to roll back the Tigers defense. An acceleration from Kotaro Matsushima then made it possible to shift Cheikh Tiberghien, who flattened the first try of the meeting, transformed by Morgan Parra. However, three minutes later, ASM lost their Japanese international full-back to a shoulder injury, who was replaced by Marvin O’Connor. On this action, Leicester obtained a penalty and went for the touch. After securing the ball, the Tigers pushed and allowed Ellis Genge to go strong on the try to close the gap, George Ford missing the conversion. Not cooled, the Clermont players got their hands on the ball and got scrum on scrum.
Clermont did not go the distance
The Tigers first line was pushed to the limit, allowing Morgan Parra to give his team a little more air with ten minutes to play before the break. A lead that however melted barely five minutes later. On an action once again initiated by a touch, Leicester was able to set up a conquering carried ball, which allowed Julian Montoya to flatten the equalization test, validated by the video. Again, George Ford failed against the posts, leaving the two teams on a parity score at the break. The Clermontois had the opportunity to turn in the lead but Camille Lopez lacked precision on a drop that was however well felt. The second period was not of the same ilk, with Jaunards who proved to be silent in attack and fragile in defense. Barely six minutes after the resumption, the English casserole has once again worked wonders. On a smoothly carried ball, Jack van Poortvliet followed well and, after a fake pass, went to conclude alone and allowed the Tigers to take the advantage. A gap that was quick to grow through Hosea Saumaki.
The Tigers can see coming back
Deploying their attacking game, the Leicester players were able to unbalance the Auvergne defense and send their winger on trial. The situation could have changed at the hour mark. Indeed, after hitting Friz Lee head to head and without the ball, Guy Porter saw the referee send him off purely and simply. However, this numerical superiority did not allow Jono Gibbes’ players to close the gap. Worse still, a quarter of an hour from the end of the meeting, Harry Potter was responsible for offering a larger margin to the Tigers before the return match next weekend. Well launched by Freddie Steward, who had taken the advantage over JJ Hanrahan on a candle from George Ford, the English winger played Alivereti Raka to register the fifth and last try of his formation. Julian Montoya once thought he could afford a double on a new ball carried at the start of the last ten minutes but the Argentinian hooker could not flatten in the in-goal. The end of the match saw Clermont try but without success. With this victory of 19 points (10-29), Leicester took a certain step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup when the Clermontois will have to give everything to hope to reverse the trend.