Five-try Clermont crush Chiefs

Date published: December 20 2015

Clermont bounced back from last week's heavy Champions Cup loss at Sandy Park as they hammered Exeter 42-10 on home soil on Sunday.

Tries from David Strettle and Alexandre Lapandry gave Clermont Auvergne a strong first half causing misery for Exeter whose indiscipline prevented them from making an impact on the match. 

This was compounded by a yellow card for Tom Waldrom late on in the half. Clermont's attacking force secured the comprehensive bonus point victory in the second half, tries from Fritz Lee, Sébastien Vahaamahina and Jonathan Davies clinched victory at Stade Marcel-Michelin. 

A late try from Tom Johnson was mere consolation for the Chiefs as they fell to a heavy defeat ending a four match winning streak. 

Both sides now sit level on points in Pool 2 with Clermont having a match in hand over Exeter. A scintillating start for Exeter was rewarded as Camille Lopez was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Matt Jess in the fourth minute. 

The resulting penalty was scored by Gareth Steenson to give his side an early three point advantage. However, Clermont responded with two penalties from Morgan Parra and Scott Spedding to take the hosts into a three point lead. 

The lead was extended to eight points following a wonderful try by Strettle who scored his third five-pointer of this year's Champions Cup. Parra scored the conversion to establish a ten point lead. 

In the 35th minute Thomas Waldrom was shown a yellow card for the Chiefs, penalised for stripping the ball in a tackle. Clermont capitalised on this with another try, kicking to the corner from the resultant penalty they won the lineout and Alexandre Lapandry scored in the corner. 

With the last action of the first half Steenson pushed a long-range penalty wide of the mark. This left the scores at 21-3 to a dominant Clermont side. 

The hosts secured their third try of the match through Lee who touched down at the bottom of a driving maul. Parra converted to give last season's finalists a 25 point lead. 

The French side secured the bonus point in the 49th minute, Vahaamahina barging over the line following a fantastic break by Davies into the Chiefs' '22 with Lopez adding the conversion. Welsh international Davies scored a try of his own in the 62nd minute which was converted by the magnificent Parra. 

Clermont were reduced to 13 men with ten minutes to go, both Vito Kolelishvili and Clément Ric sent to the sin-bin for collapsing two close range drives. 

Johnson capitalised with a consolation try for Exeter, scoring from a driving line-out with Will Hooley adding the conversion. This was the last act of a match which finished 42-10.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Strettle, Lapandry, Lee, Vahaamahina, Davies
Con: Parra 3, Lopez
Pen: Parra 2, Spedding
Yellow: Lopez (3 mins – dangerous tackle), Kolelishvili (71 mins – collapsing maul), Ric (73 mins – cynical foul)

For Exeter:
Try: Johnson
Con: Hooley
Pen: Steenson
Yellow: Waldrom (37 mins – hands in ruck)

Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 David Strettle, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hosea Gear, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Vito Kolelishvili, 5 Sébastian Vahaamahina, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Albert Vulivuli.

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Jack Nowell, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Don Armand, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Carl Rimmer.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Moray Low, 19 Mitch Lees, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Michele Campanaro.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Pennè (Italy), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)