Clermont hand Toulouse another loss

Date published: September 13 2014

Julien Bardy's second-half try gave Clermont a first-ever win at Ernest Wallon as Toulouse lost a third straight game 13-9.

Julien Bardy's second-half try gave Clermont a first-ever win at Ernest Wallon as Toulouse lost a third straight game 13-9.

It was the first time during Guy Noves' reign that Toulouse had lost three on the trot, and it took until the final ten minutes for the home side to wake from their stupor.

As a sign of their impotency, Toulouse chose to settle for a late penalty to at least earn a losing bonus point, rather than go for a draw at the death.

Toulouse came into the game under huge pressure after back-to-back away losses and with a scrum that had let them down on both occasions.

Still deprived of Census Johnston and Vasil Kakovin, as well as longer-term absences Gurthro Steenkamp and Schalk Ferreira, Toulouse needed their front row to step up, and early on they did so, allowing Toby Flood to open the scoring with an early penalty.

While the scrum was going a little better, it was the visitors who were dominating possession and territory, and when they earned a penalty on halfway, Ludovic Radosavljevic had the distance and levelled the scores.

Under pressure, Gael Fickou was able to make ground to get Toulouse back on the front foot, and Jano Vermaak was in support to break through and find himself one-on-one with Jean-Marcellin Buttin.

The full-back did enough to slow down Vermaak, but Clermont were penalised when Aurelien Rougerie failed to roll away and Flood put the home side back in front five minutes before the break.

It didn't last long though, with Toulouse's scrum coming under pressure at the end of the half, allowing Camille Lopez to make it 6-6 at the break.

Clermont were in the ascendancy but had struggled to make it pay, but at the start of the second half they were able to take the lead for the first time.

After a series of attacks in the Toulouse 22, Bardy picked and went from close range, and despite the attentions of Corey Flynn, referee Salem Attalah decided he had got the ball down with the help of the TMO. Lopez slotted the tricky conversion to stretch the lead to seven.

Toulouse needed a response, and it almost came when they put pressure on Julien Malzieu in his own half, but after a number of charges, Clermont were able keep Maxime Medard out.

Noves' side looked to be coming back into the game, but their scrum, where Kisi Pulu was really struggling, and lineout, with Flynn out of sync with his jumpers, was holding them back.

Still Toulouse kept trying, and when Romain Millo-Chluski burst through with ten minutes remaining, Viktor Kolelishvili dived off his feet to slow the ball down.

That should have allowed the home side to cut the deficit but Flood missed from straight in front.

The home side had the momentum though, and again piled on the pressure, earning a scrum five metres out.

With Clermont struggling to hold the Toulouse scrum, Julien Bonnaire cheekily kicked the ball out of the scrum out of sight of the referee.

Huget and Medard kept the pressure on Clermont, making more ground only for Noa Nakaitaci to be penalised for killing the ball in a ruck.

Clermont were able to keep the home side at bay, eventually giving away a penalty with time up, and on the instructions of Noves they took the shot at goal, with Flood on target this time.

That allowed Clermont, who have now gone four games without conceding a try, to move back to win their fourth of five games this season, with a first-ever success at Ernest Wallon.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Penalties: Flood 3

For Clermont:
Try: Bardy
Conversion: Lopez
Penalties: Radosavljevic, Lopez

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joe Tekori, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Kisi Pulu.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Cyril Baille, 19 Edwin Maka, 20 Gregory Lamboley, 21 Romain Millo-Chluski, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Florian Fritz

Clermont: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Napolioni Nalaga, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Noa Naikataci, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Damie Chouly (c), 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Viktor Kolelishvili, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Mike Delany, 22 Nick Abendanon, 23 Daniel Kotze

Referee: Salem Attalah