Clermont suffers but offers La Rochelle

By Louis Mouret

Published ,

Tawera Kerr-Barlow against Clermont. Frederic Chambert / PANORAMIC

In a very closed and flashless match, ASM was able to contain Stade Rochelais who had to settle for a defensive bonus point.

At the end of a meeting in which the fight and the duels will have been honoured, it was the ASM which proved to be the strongest to win 11 to 10 after a crossover against the reigning European champions.

For this last match before the World Cup break, Rochelais and Clermontois did not give us a great show. Although handicapped by many absentees retained in selection (Alldritt, Atonio, Danty, Bourgarit, Wardy etc.), the Rochelais presented themselves with a good team and intentions in Auvergne. Christophe Urios’ men had apparently understood this well by starting the match in the best possible way. After only three minutes of play, Peceli Yato collapsed in the in-goal after a good Clermont maul close to the La Rochelle line and already gave his team the lead.

Only here, after this test the spectators of the Stade Marcel-Michelin attended an anthology of small slags and an accumulation of errors which complicated the production of the game of the two teams. With defenses taking precedence over attacks, the Rochelais relied on what they know how to do. From simple play in a p around the rucks to a good relay and a p after contact from Rémi Picquette (25 ‘) to allow Judicaël Cancoriet to register, against his former teammates, the first La Rochelle points of the evening. The visitors even took the advantage thanks to the successful transformation by Dillyn Leyds, the evening scorer (2/4).

If Benjamin Urdapilleta allowed the Clermontois to lead on returning to the locker room thanks to a penalty of 50 meters (40 ‘), they found themselves in difficulty as soon as they returned to the field. After a clearing by Thibaud Lanen and a head-to-head clash, ASM found themselves 14 against 15 (43′). Without finding the solution to score a second try during this period on the numerical superiority, Ronan O’Gara’s men took the opportunity to take the lead with a new penalty (50’, 8-10).

Dominated in terms of possession and occupation, the Clermontois of Christophe Urios relied on a solid defense to front, like their opener Benjamin Urdapilleta author of 13 veneers (13/14). They were able to resist and make La Rochelle’s possession sterile while taking advantage of their indiscipline to regain the advantage with a new penalty (71′). Too undisciplined in the last ten minutes of the game, the Rochelais let the victory slip by being penalized twice in the offensive phases against the courage and the Clermont defense. La Rochelle therefore leaves Auvergne with a small point but could have brought back the victory. For its part, the ASM therefore closes this first block of three games with nine points on the clock and a place in the right car before the World Cup break.

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