Five-try Clermont cruise

Date published: October 16 2016

Clermont started their Champions Cup pool campaign with a comprehensive 35-8 victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Sunday.

Gareth Steenson opened the scoring with a penalty but Exeter's lead was shortlived as Julien Bardy, Noa Nakaitaci and Wesley Fofana ran in first-half tries for the visitors. Morgan Parra bolstered each try with a conversion to put Clermont 21-3 ahead going into half-time.

Clermont continued to tear through Exeter in the second-half with tries from Nick Abendanon and a second from Fofana.

Sam Hill scored a consolation try on the 80 minute mark but it did little to mask Clermont's dominance with the final score 35-8.

These two sides were no strangers to one another going into this match, having met five times in the past four years.

Steenson launched the Chiefs' campaign with a long range penalty seven minutes in.

The Top 14 leaders quickly replied as Nakaitaci broke through on the wing and offloaded to Bardy for Clermont's first try. Parra's masterful conversion from out wide made it 7-3.

Minutes later Nakaitaci was through again this time grabbing a try of his own. Another immaculate conversion from Parra made it 14-3.

Lopez sliced through a sloppy Exeter defence and found Fofana for the visitors' third. Parra's conversion took Clermont into the break 21-3 ahead.

Just two minutes into the second-half Abendanon used some good footwork to get Clermont their bonus point try. Parra made it four from four with the conversion.

Flip van der Merwe saw yellow 50 minutes in for conceding one too many penalties but Exeter couldn't make the most of the extra numbers.

Fofana picked an excellent line and ran through the Chiefs defence completely unscathed for Clermont's fifth and final try. Patricio Fernandez bagged the conversion to make it 35-3.

Hill scored a try at the death for Exeter but it was too little too late as Clermont cruised to victory.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Try: Hill
Pen: Steenson

For Clermont:
Tries: Bardy, Nakaitaci, Fofana 2, Abendanon
Cons: Parra 4, Fernandez
Yellow Card: Van der Merwe (53 min)

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Kai Horstmann, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Moray Low
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Mitch Lees, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Max Bodilly

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip Van Der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Aurélien Rougerie

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)