Story so far: ASM Clermont Auvergne

As the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 approaches, we detail each side’s path to the knockout stage, selecting key moments, players and stats.

We continue our look into the 16 teams with an overview of ASM Clermont Auvergne…

Path to the Round of 16

Wing Damian Penaud scored two brilliant tries for Clermont in Round 1, but the TOP 14 side were beaten 29-23 by Ulster Rugby at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

They would notch their first and only victory of the pool stage against Sale Sharks, with three first-half tries helping them to a 25-19 home success.

And although they were defeated 34-31 at Ulster in Round 4 despite a late flurry of tries, Clermont would progress to the knockout stage after finishing eighth in Pool A.

Key moment

The Round 3 victory over Sale proved crucial in Clermont’s qualification for the Round of 16, and the introduction of veteran Morgan Parra from the bench proved to be the defining moment in the game.

The scrum-half calmly slotted two penalties either side of the 70 minute mark to edge his side into a slender lead they would ultimately cling onto.

Key player

Winger Penaud has been in tremendous form for Clermont, scoring three tries in three games, including his sensational brace against Ulster in Round 1.

The French international started twice and came off the bench in Round 4, with his lightening pace helping swing the momentum in his team’s favour, though they fell just short of a miracle fightback.

Key stats

  • Only Glasgow Warriors (11) and Munster Rugby (11) kicked more penalties than Clermont (9) in the pool stage.
  • Clermont’s Alivereti Raka made 382 metres in three pool stage games. No player made more in the same number of matches, and only Ulster’s Michael Lowry (563) made more having played four games.
  • Penaud beat 17 defenders in three pool stage games. No player beat more in the same number of games, and only Ulster duo James Hume (18) and Lowry (23) beat more having played four games.
  • No player made more tackles than Clermont’s Lucas Dessaigne (23) in Round 4.

Round of 16 opponents

Clermont go up against Leicester Tigers over two legs, welcoming the Gallagher Premiership side to Stade Marcel-Michelin on April 10 before travelling to Mattioli Woods Welford Road on April 16.

Leicester advanced to the knockout stage after finishing top of Pool B.