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Clermont looking to rebuild after Ulster defeat

Wednesday 4th December 2019

10:36 am (GMT)

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Clermont looking to rebuild after Ulster defeat

Clermont Auvergne's Alivereti Raka scores a try that is subsequently disallowed

2019 Challenge Cup winners ASM Clermont Auvergne will be hoping to return to winning ways on Friday night when they travel to face Bath Rugby at The Rec, with coverage on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 19:45 GMT.

The French side were turned over in Round 2’s Friday night fixture by Ulster Rugby, while Bath Rugby are in desperate need of a win after falling to Harlequins last time out.

Key facts

  • Bath and Clermont have met three times in European competition, clashing in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup in 2004 – when they shared one win apiece over the two legs with the TOP 14 side progressing on points aggregate – as well as the 2007 final which was won by Clermont.
  • Friday night’s match will be Bath’s 100th in the Heineken Champions Cup, and they are the fifth Premiership club to reach a century of matches in the competition after Leicester Tigers, Wasps, Northampton Saints and Saracens.
  • Clermont have won seven of their last eight games against Gallagher Premiership opposition in the pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup, with those seven victories coming by an average margin of 24 points.
  • Bath’s last six games against TOP 14 clubs in the Heineken Champions Cup have been decided by margins of five points or fewer, however, Bath have come out on top just once in that run (L4).
  • Bath (13/13) and Clermont (15/15) are two of just six teams with a 100% scrum success rate after two rounds.
  • Clermont are the top point scorers (66) while they’ve crossed for the joint most tries (8, level with Exeter Chiefs).
  • No club has won more turnovers this season than Clermont (17, level with Montpellier).

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Ezeala brace helps Clermont to bonus point victory

Friday 6th December 2019

10:01 pm (GMT)

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Ezeala brace helps Clermont to bonus point victory

Samuel Ezeala scores his second try

ASM Clermont Auvergne got their Heineken Champions Cup Pool 3 campaign back on track with a convincing 34-17 bonus point win over Bath on Friday night at The Rec, with two tries from debutant Samuel Ezeala.

Bath started the brighter of the two sides and got the first try on 13 minutes through Rhys Priestland.

Clermont attempted to chase the fly-half down inside their own 22 but as Camille Lopez slipped, Priestland sprinted past and had the simple task of dotting down in the mud. The fly-half would then convert his own try to put the hosts 7-0.

Just before the half-hour mark, Clermont responded as a driving maul collapsed but Morgan Parra was clever with penalty advantage and found George Moala who broke three tackles and dived over the line. Parra then slotted over the tricky conversion.

That would be the end of the scoring for the first half, with three penalties – two from Greig Laidlaw and one from Priestland – the other side of the interval putting Clermont 13-10 ahead after 52 minutes.

From that point, the visitors took over. On 66 minutes, Samuel Ezeala – on his Heineken Champions Cup debut – took advantage of a string of wonderful offloads as he spun and dotted down near the posts despite plenty of pressure.

And from that kick-off, Fritz Lee powered clear before playing in Ezeala with a superb pick up and a delightful offload under the tackle to Alexandre Lapandry for the second try in as many minutes.

Ezeala then grabbed a second try of his own to kill off the match on 72 minutes after a lovely grubber from Camille Lopez found the 19-year-old who dived over for the easiest Heineken Champions Cup try he will ever score.

Jonathan Joseph would grab a consolation try for the hosts but to no avail as Clermont secured all five points ahead of the return clash next Sunday.

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