Clermont go top with win at Bordeaux-Bègles

Date published: January 8 2016

Clermont moved top of Pool 2 in the Champions Cup as they battled past Bordeaux-Bègles, winning 28-10 at Stade Chaban Delmas on Friday.

In a game both teams ideally needed to win, it was Clermont who went into the break ahead through Nick Abendanon and Camille Lopez tries, while Morgan Parra kicked seven points.

Bordeaux were resilient and responded through Clement Maynadier's touchdown and Lionel Beauxis' penalty.

Clermont though took control in the final 40 minutes and Parra added a pair of three-pointers before Bordeaux's Julien Le Devedec was shown a red card. Noa Nakaitaci then went over late on to confirm the win and take Clermont to the top of Pool 2.

Despite successive defeats in their first two rounds of the Champions Cup, Bordeaux remained in contention for the knockout stages following a victory over the Ospreys in their previous European encounter.

The hosts duly started with intent and, after Parra had missed an early penalty attempt for Clermont, Beauxis took the home side in front from the tee.

Darly Domvo and Romain Lonca also made incursions into the opposition rearguard before the visitors grabbed hold of the contest.

Abendanon crossed the whitewash in the 18th minute as the English full-back took advantage of the space out wide. Parra added the extras and kicked a further penalty to increase their lead to 10-3.

Unperturbed, Bordeaux hit back through Maynadier's try. The move was instigated by a dominant driving maul which went 20 metres before it was illegally halted. Clermont were now under significant pressure and it was no surprise to see the Bordeaux hooker bundle his way over from close range.

Clermont responded to that setback by scoring another touchdown when Lopez weaved his way over the line and Parra converted. A 17-10 lead for the away team was deserved for their performance in the first-half and they extended that buffer in the early part of the second.

Successive three-pointers from their scrum-half moved the visitors 13 points clear before Le Devedec was sent-off for a head-butt a few minutes after coming on.

Francisco Gomez Kodela was then sin-binned as Bordeaux showed signs of imploding but, to their credit, the remaining 13 players displayed outstanding spirit. They kept out their opponents with two men down and were in fact the side on the front foot during that period. 

However, Le Devedec's absence became evident in the latter stages and Nakaitaci crossed the whitewash for Clermont's final score.

The scorers:

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Try: Maynadier
Con: Beauxis
Pen: Beauxis
Yellow: Gomez Kodela (56 mins)
Red: Le Devedec (51 mins)

For Clermont:
Tries: Abendanon, Lopez, Nakaitaci
Con: Parra 2
Pen: Parra 3
Yellow: Kayser (76 mins)

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Romain Lonca, 11 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Matthew Clarkin, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Berend Botha, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Chambord, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Julien Le Devedec, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Pierre Bernard, 23 Nans Ducuing.

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Vito Kolelishvili, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Michael Simutoga, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Fritz Lee, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Aurélien Rougerie.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (Ireland)