When ASM Clermont Auvergne host Northampton Saints in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals on March 31, it will be the third time they have met this season, but only the sixth in European competition in total. Here we look back at their previous meetings.
2014/15: Clermont 37 Northampton 5
The clubs’ first meeting came in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals in 2015 and Clermont cruised to victory, racing into a 37-0 lead with two tries from Noa Nakaitaci plus one apiece from Wesley Fofana and Nick Abendanon, before Alex Waller’s consolation score for the visitors. Brock James kicked 17 points for the French club, who went on to reach the final before losing to RC Toulon.
2017/18: Clermont 24 Northampton 7
Two tries from Charlie Cassang and one each from Fritz Lee and Etienne Falgoux earned Clermont a comfortable Pool 2 home win over Northampton in the European Champions Cup. Saints’ sole reply was a converted try from Christian Day.
2017/18: Northampton 34 Clermont 21
This seven-try spectacular was Northampton’s first win against French opposition in five attempts and came in the reverse Pool 2 European Champions Cup fixture with Clermont. However, it was the English club’s sole European victory last season as Clermont topped the pool before losing to Racing 92 in the quarter-finals.
2018/19: Northampton 20 Clermont 41
The outcome of this Pool 1 Challenge Cup clash never looked in doubt as Clermont rattled in six tries, with braces for Peter Betham and Peceli Yato and one each for Rabah Slimani and Arthur Iturria, before allowing Northampton a consolation double in the last three minutes via Tom Collins and David Ribbans.
2018/19: Clermont 48 Northampton 40
Clermont sealed top spot in Pool 1 along with a home quarter-final after a breathless 13-try encounter at the Stade Marcel Michelin. The French club scored seven tries via Peter Betham (2), Wesley Fofana (2), Sitaleki Timani, Peceli Yato and Remi Grosso, but Northampton clinched a try bonus point with efforts from Teimana Harrison (3), Fraser Dingwall, Alex Mitchell and Cobus Reinach.