Bordeaux on fire in Clermont rout

Date published: October 4 2014

Bordeaux produced the performance of the season so far to hammer Clermont 51-21 at Chaban Delmas, running in six tries.

Bordeaux produced the performance of the season so far to hammer Clermont 51-21 at Chaban Delmas, running in six tries.

Raphael Ibanez’s side have long been one of the most attractive teams to watch in the Top 14, and this performance was them at their very best.

First-half tries from Romain Lonca, Pierre Bernard and Berend Botha set Bordeaux on their way, a remarkable achievement against a Clermont team that had conceded only three tries in their first seven games of the season.

And in a game where both teams were prepared to run the ball, it was the home side who were able to take their opportunities, leading 24-9 at the break before dominating the second half in the same manner.

The game started with a number of infringements from both sides, with Brock James knocking over two penalties to one from Bernard as the visitors led 6-3 early on.

The move started with an intial break in midfield from Felix Le Bourhis, but when Blair Connor was pulled back he found himself without support.

Still, Bordeaux were able to recycle quickly and after another half-break from Julien Rey, Bordeaux were able to spread the ball to Lonca who scooted over for the first try.

The reaction from the visitors was immediate and after Jonathan Davies found some space on the outside, he fed Napolioni Nalaga who looked certain to score his first try of the season.

However Connor scragged him before Metuisela Talebula came across to knock the ball free, although the Fijian could easily have been penalised for tackling without using his arms.

Bordeaux were looking dangerous with ball in hand, regularly trying to run the ball out of their 22.

It was when Clermont did the same, that Bordeaux scored their second try, taking advantage of a ball lost by Fritz Lee.

Heini Adams fed his fly-half Bernard, who run through the tackle of Davies and sprinted over for his first try with the club. The fly-half converted to make it 17-6 midway through the half.

Clermont reduced the deficit with a third James penalty as both sides kept the ball in hand, to good effect but he was off-target a couple of minutes later after Bordeaux were penalised at a ruck.

The visitors continued attacking but soon found themselves a man down when Loic Jacquet was sin-binned somewhat harshly for leading with the arm in a ruck.

Bordeaux took full advantage with their third try of the half. After a period of possession in Clermont’s 22, Adams darted off the back of a ruck before feeding replacement Botha who crashed over. Bernard converted to make it 24-9.

The scoreline was a reward for some thrilling play by Ibanez’s side, even if Clermont could feel hard done by to trail by 15 points.

They did manage to react at the end of the half though, forcing Bordeaux to infringe when Noa Nakaitaci took a quick penalty, and as a result Bernard joined Jacquet in the sin-bin at the end of the half.

Still Bordeaux were able to keep Les Jaunards out, with Adams winning a vital penalty on his own line.

The home side lost Adams early in the second half when he was knocked out in a collision with his skipper Matthew Clarkin, but his replacement Yann Lesgourgues almost set up a try straight after coming, chipping over the top but some desperate Clermont defence kept Talebula out.

Clermont needed a reaction, and they got it after 55 minutes when Nalaga finally opened his account for the season as he muscled his way over from close range. James missed the conversion from out wide as the visitors trailed by ten.

Bordeaux hit back though with two penalties in quick succession from Bernard to make it 30-14 on the hour. And when Talebula went over a couple of minutes later, the game was up for Clermont.

The visitors found themselves short in defence and Bordeaux played the overlap perfectly to put the Fijian into space, and he then powered over the covering tackle of replacement Uwa Tawalo to score. Lionel Beauxis, who had just come on for Bernard, converted to make it 37-14.

It was turning into a procession, and when Bordeaux got their maul working, Clermont simply had no answer, with Clement Maynadier coming off the bench to grab the fifth home try. Beauxis again converted from the touchline.

Clermont were falling apart and conceded a sixth try two minutes later when Jandre Marais broke through some weak tackling to score, Beauxis converted to bring up the half-century.

To their credit, Clermont kept fighting, and scored their second try through replacement Thierry Lacrampe after Le Bourhis had been sin-binned for an early tackle. Mike Delany converted but it was slim consolation for Franck Az