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Unbeaten Clermont look for maximum points again

Friday 14th December 2018

6:50 pm (GMT)

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Peceli Yato of Clermont Auvergne runs in to score a try during the Challenge Cup match between Northampton Saints and Clermont Auvergne at Franklin's Gardens on October 13, 2018.

ASM Clermont Auvergne will look to sustain their 100% per cent record in this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup as they host Dragons at the Stade Marcel-Michelin.

  • This will be the second meeting between ASM Clermont Auvergne and the Dragons after they clashed in the 2007 semi-final which the TOP 14 side won 46-29.
  • Clermont are one of three clubs with a 100% record this season, along with Sale Sharks and La Rochelle.
  • Clermont have won all 26 of their home games in the Challenge Cup, scoring an average of 48 points per game.
  • Clermont have averaged 735 metres and 44 defenders beaten per game this season, more than any other side in either category.
  • Of players to attempt 10 or more kicks at goal this season, Clermont’s Pato Fernandez (100%, 10/10) and Dragons’ Josh Lewis (91%, 10/11) have the best goalkicking success rate this season (Marcus Smith of Harlequins also 10/11).

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Young Bristol side stay resolute for famous win in France

Saturday 15th December 2018

10:04 pm (GMT)

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Tom Pincus of Bristol Bears is tackled by Gregory Aldritt and Uini Atonio of La Rochelle during the Challenge Cup match between Bristol Bears and La Rochelle.

A terrific defensive display from Bristol Bears ensured a historic victory over La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, defeating their Pool 4 rivals 13-3.

Bristol’s Callum Sheedy and La Rochelle’s Arthur Retiere exchanged early penalties before fly-half Ryan Lamb was sin-binned for the French side.

A second Sheedy penalty gave his side a half-time lead 6-3, but it got even better for the Gallagher Premiership side after the break with the Bears crossing over for the games’ crucial try.

Superb initial work from flanker Nick Haining who charged down Tawera Kerr-Barlow’s box-kick and once Bristol recycled the ball, Jordan Crane dotted down. Sheedy added the extra two points to extend the Bears’ lead to 13-3.

However, the visitors spent the remaining half an hour under the pump, with a tremendous amount of pressure coming from La Rochelle – who brought on the Fijian ‘Domination Man’ Levani Botia to help break down Bears’ defence.

Bristol managed to hang on despite going down to 14 men for the last five minutes and now have a chance of a reaching the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The Bears head to Sochi next for their Round 5 encounter against Enisei-STM on Saturday 13 January, 2019, while La Rochelle host Zebre Rugby Club the night before.

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