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Clermont and Ulster lock horns in potential classic

Wednesday 8th January 2020

1:46 pm (GMT)

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Clermont and Ulster lock horns in potential classic

Ulster Rugby's John Cooney celebrates scoring a try against ASM Clermont Auvergne in last season's Heineken Champions Cup

A place in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals could be decided on Saturday when ASM Clermont Auvergne and Ulster Rugby clash at Stade Marcel Michelin with just one point splitting the sides in Pool 3.

Ulster Rugby won the reverse fixture in Belfast but have had their lead cut with Clermont picking up four bonus points. The match is live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 13:00 GMT.

Key facts

  • ASM Clermont Auvergne and Ulster have met five times previously in the Heineken Champions Cup, with each game won by the home side on the day (Clermont W2, Ulster W3)
  • Clermont have won 30 of their last 31 home pool games in the Heineken Champions Cup (L1 v Bordeaux-Bègles). Sale Sharks were the last club from outside of France to win at Marcel-Michelin in the competition (Round 1, 2008/09).
  • Ulster have won four of their last five away games in the tournament, more than they’d won in their previous 13 games on the road (W3, L10).
  • Clermont are the top points scorers (152) this season, with the joint most tries (20, level with Leinster).
  • Ulster are the only side yet to concede a try in the opening 20 minutes this season, however, no one has scored more than Clermont in the opening quarter of their fixtures (6, level with Leinster).
  • Clermont and Ulster are two of just four clubs yet to be shown a card of any colour to date, along with Lyon and Toulouse.
  • Clermont have conceded five tries from mauls this season, two more than any other side, while only Bath (3) have scored more tries from mauls than Ulster (2, level with Sale and Glasgow).
  • Ulster have retained 28 of their 112 kicks from hand, 12 more than Clermont who have retained the second most kicks (16/95).

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Clermont dominate second half to see off Ulster

Saturday 11th January 2020

3:09 pm (GMT)

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Clermont dominate second half to see off Ulster

Who is this in action for Clermont against Ulster?

ASM Clermont Auvergne put in a terrific second half display to defeat Ulster Rugby 29-13 and secure a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final spot.

It was a superb start for Ulster through Stuart McCloskey who picked a gap in the Clermont line and they got a metre or two away from the line before the hosts were penalised for going off feet at the breakdown.

That left John Cooney to kick the visitors in the lead before Camille Lopez responded with a drop goal on seven minutes.

A minute later, Ulster were back ahead and it was that man Cooney again. It came from some smart work from the forwards and that released the scrum-half who sprinted away to score at the posts.

Ulster continued to dominate but failed to turn that territory and possession into points thanks to some stout Clermont defence.

It was an eventual final 20 minutes of the first half from Morgan Parra who slotted over two penalties either side of a yellow card for the captain after a deliberate knock on, leaving Ulster a point ahead at the interval.

Clermont were the better side in the second period and took advantage with Alivereti Raka going over in the 49th minute, before the two sides traded penalties through Parra and Cooney.

However, it was George Moala who had the final say when he exploited some holes in the Ulster line and powered clear for the final score of the match.

Clermont will travel to face Harlequins in Round 6 while Ulster can move into the quarter-finals win a home win over Bath.

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