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Northampton Saints

FULL-TIME
34     21

Clermont Auvergne

European Cup | Franklin's Gardens
17:30 (GMT) | 13-01-2018
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FULL TIME: NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 34-21 CLERMONT AUVERGNE
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Join Rugby 365 for more Champions Cup round five action on Sunday as Leinster do battle with Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena in Dublin
  • 80
Neither team is able to get the ball out the ruck inside the Northampton half and referee George Clancy blows his whistle for full time. Congratulations to Northampton Saints on a well deserved 34-21 over Clermont Auvergne in front of their home fans at Franklin's Gardens in this round five European Champions Cup matchup
  • 79
Plenty of commitment from Northampton at the breakdown sees them awarded the penalty inside their own 22 for Clermont not releasing the ball at the breakdown. Northampton set the lineout with a touch finder on their own ten metre line
  • 78
Northampton concede the penalty for an offside infringement just inside the Clermont half and Clermont set the attacking lineout with a touch finder just short of the Northampton 22
  • 76
Northampton look after possession with accuracy at the breakdown before they earn the right to go wide. Northampton throw the ball straight into touch and Clermont have the defensive lineout just outside the Clermont 22
  • 73
Harry Mallinder converts the try from the Clermont 22 on the angle and Northampton now lead Clermont 34-21 with six minutes left to play
  • 72
Cobus Reinach snipes on the Clermont five metre line and finds some space on the fringes of the ruck as he dives over for the try for Northampton
  • 71
Courtney Lawes takes the ball into contact and gives Northampton go forward ball. Northampton break up field and Clermont are able to track back and bring them to ground just outside the Clermont 22. Northampton are looking dangerous here!
  • 70
Harry Mallinder is unable to find touch from the free-kick inside the Northampton 22 and Clermont look to counter attack from halfway!
  • 69
High fives all around for Northampton at scrum time as they are awarded the free-kick at the scrum on the Northampton five metre line
  • 68
Courtney Lawes concedes the penalty for Northampton for joining the ruck at the side and Clermont choose to go for the five metre attacking scrum from the penalty as they look to scrum their way over the line
  • 66
Northampton concede the penalty for an infringement inside their own half and fullback Isaiah Toeava sets the attacking lineout for Clermont with a touch finder on the Northampton five metre line
  • 64
Harry Mallinder puts the icing on the cake for Northampton with an accurate kick at poles which sees the ball sail through the poles from the conversion on the Clermont 22. Northampton now lead Clermont 27-21 after that converted try
  • 63
Northampton test the Clermont back three with an up and under on the Clermont five metre line. Rob Horne does well to knock the ball back in the air and Ken Pisi is on hand to collect the loose ball and shows good strength to crash over for the try with Luke McAlister looking to make the tackle
  • 62
Cobus Reinach draws in the Clermont defence and takes play down the short side. Clermont concede the penalty and Northampton tap and go and take play into the Clermont 22 with plenty of physicality and movement on the ball
  • 61
Harry Mallinder sends the penalty kick at poles from just outside the Clermont 22 sailing wide of the poles. Clermont restart with the 22 drop out
  • 60
Clermont concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown just outside the Clermont 22 and Harry Mallinder will look to give Northampton the lead again with a kick at poles
  • 58
Morgan Parra tests the Northampton back three under the high ball with a box kick and Remy Grosso concedes the penalty for taking out Ken Pisi in the air. Harry Mallinder sets the attacking lineout from the penalty for Northampton with a touch finder just short of the Clermont 22
  • 57
Clermont are back in the lead as Morgan Parra sends the ball sailing through the poles from the penalty kick at poles just outside the Northampton 22
  • 56
Campese Ma'afu concedes the penalty for Northampton for an infringement at scrum time going to his knees at the scrum and Morgan Parra will strike for poles for Clermont from just outside the Northampton 22
  • 55
Good link up play on attack from Clermont with plenty of support runners but the pass goes forward and Northampton have the defensive scrum just outside their own 22
  • 53
Clermont concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown inside the Northampton half and Harry Mallinder sets the attacking lineout for Northampton with a touch finder deep inside the Clermont half
  • 52
Northampton make the exit kick with a kick up field and Remy Grosso comes away with the ball on the wing but Northampton manage to bring him to ground before he makes the offload in the tackle.
  • 51
Clermont send Northampton tracking back into their own half with a clever box kick which finds green and bounces before Northampton gather the loose ball and take the ball into contact as they build phases inside their own half
  • 49
It looks good and it's over! Morgan Parra strikes the ball well from the kicking tee and sends the ball sailing through the poles from just outside the 22
  • 48
Api Ratuniyarawa concedes the penalty for Northampton just outside the Northampton 22 for an infringement at the breakdown and Morgan Parra will look to add the extra three for Clermont with a kick at poles
  • 45
Harry Mallinder adds the extra two points for Northampton with an accurate kick at poles from the conversion on the Clermont 22. Northampton are throwing the kitchen sink at Clermont in these first few minutes of the second half
  • 44
Ben Foden gives Northampton the lead after receiving the pass on the wing and showing good pace to beat Parra for speed and dot down for the five pointer
  • 42
Harry Mallinder strikes the ball with perfect technique and from the kick at poles just outside the Clermont 22. The ball travels through the poles after bouncing off the poles and Harry Mallinder adds the extra three points for Northampton from the penalty
  • 41
Harry Mallinder gets the second half underway for Northampton with a deep kick just short of the Clermont 22. Clermont are unable to deal with the restart as they lose the ball back. Northampton gather the loose ball and play wide with quick hands. Benjamin Kayser concedes the penalty for an offside infringement and Harry Mallinder lines up the kick at poles for Northampton from just outside the Clermont 22

Half Time

  • 40
Clermont pick and go and take the ball into contact just inside their own half. The referee signals half time after a knock forward at the breakdown. Clermont lead Northampton Saints 15-10 at the break. Stay tuned for the second half which will follow shortly
  • 39
Morgan Parra sets the lineout for Clermont from the penalty inside the Clermont 22 with a touch finder just outside the Clermont 22
  • 38
Campese Ma'afu concedes another penalty for collapsing the scrum on the Clermont five metre line
  • 37
High fives all around for Clermont as they manage to disrupt the Northampton maul on the Clermont five metre line. Clermont manage to hold the ball up off the ground and they are awarded the turnover. Clermont have the five metre defensive scrum
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Clermont concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown on their 22 and Harry Mallinder sets the attacking lineout for Northampton with a touch finder on the Clermont five metre line
  • 32
Harry Mallinder sends the conversion attempt from just outside the Clermont 22 sailing wide of the poles. Clermont lead 15-10
  • 31
Ben Foden puts in an accurate chip kick which bounces up into the hands of Nafi Tuitavake inside the Clermont 22. Nafi Tuitavake beats a defender with a well timed step and dots down for the try. Game on!
  • 30
Morgan Parra sends the ball sailing through the poles from the penalty kick at poles on the Northampton 22. Clermont now lead 15-5
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Campese Ma'afu concedes the penalty for Northampton for collapsing the five metre scrum on the Northampton line and Morgan Parra will strike for poles from the kicking tee for Clermont on the Northampton 22
  • 28
Good work off the ball from Clermont sees them force the knock forward from Northampton in the tackle. Clermont have the five metre attacking scrum
  • 27
Northampton are awarded the free-kick at the scrum for an early engagement from Clermont on the Northampton five metre line and Harry Mallinder finds touch from the free-kick just short of the Northampton ten metre line. Clermont have the attacking lineout
  • 24
Good commitment on defence from Northampton sees them bundle Clermont into touch on the Northampton five metre line. Clermont are awarded the penalty for an advantage that was being played for an infringement at the lineout and Clermont set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on the Northampton five metre line
  • 23
Morgan Parra sends the kick at poles sailing wide of the poles from just outside the Northampton 22. Northampton restart with the 22 metre drop out
  • 22
Northampton concede the penalty for an infringement just outside the Northampton 22 and Morgan Parra will strike from the kicking tee for Clermont
  • 21
Harry Mallinder with an accurate touch finder as he makes the exit kick for Northampton and finds touch just short of the Northampton ten metre line. Clermont have the attacking lineout
  • 19
Clermont get the rolling maul going inside the Northampton 22. Clermont put in the grubber kick for their backs to chase but the ball goes over the dead ball line and Northampton restart with the 22 metre drop out
  • 16
Morgan Parra sends the conversion from the Northampton 22 on the angle sailing wide of the poles
  • 15
Fritz Lee draws in two defenders with a powerful run on the wing before he makes the offload to Nick Abendanon and Isaiah Toeava puts down the accelerator and races to the corner as he bumps off a tackler and crashes over for the five pointer
  • 14
Harry Mallinder sees his conversion attempt from just outside the Clermont 22 on the angle bounce off the poles. The conversion is missed and Clermont will restart with the drop out from halfway
  • 13
Harry Mallinder missed the conversion but the referee has ordered that Mallinder retake the conversion as there was talk going on between the Clermont players during the kick at poles
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Harry Mallinder with good distribution skills inside the Clermont 22 as he brings the Northampton backs into play with accurate passing on the wing. Api Ratuniyarawa makes a well timed offload in the tackle on the wing before the ball is recycled and played down the wide channels and number eight Teimana Harrison is on hand to dot down for the try on the wing
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Northampton make the exit kick with a kick up field and Isaiah Toeava returns the favor with a touch finder just short of halfway. Northampton have the attacking lineout
  • 6
Northampton Saints concede the penalty for collapsing the scrum inside the Clermont 22 and Clermont set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just short of halfway
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Northampton look to attack from first phase possession as Rob Horne is brought into play with a well timed pass. Saints knock the ball forward in the tackle and Clermont have the defensive scrum inside their 22
  • 4
The scrum goes to ground and the referee asks for a reset. Northampton Saints have another attacking scrum inside the Clermont 22
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Morgan Parra converts the try for Clermont from the Northampton Saints 22 and Clermont now lead 7-0
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Benjamin Kayser hands off the tackle and offloads to a flying Remy Grosso on the wing and Remy Grosso bumps off a tackler and crashes over for the five pointer. Statement of intent from the start for Clermont
  • 0
Referee George Clancy blows his whistle and Luke McAlister gets the game underway for Clermont with a short hanging kick which travels just past the Saints ten metre line. Clermont win possession from the kick off as they compete in the air and knock the ball back onto their side of the field before they give the forwards possession and pick and go just outside the Saints 22
  • -5
George Clancy is our referee. Sean Gallagher and Leo Colgan will assist him. Our TMO is Peter Fitzgibbon
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Hello and welcome to Rugby 365's live commentary of this European Rugby Champions Cup round five matchup between Northampton Saints and Clermont Auvergne from Franklin's Gardens in Northampton
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Northampton Saints
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Clermont Auvergne
START LINE UP
  • 1 Campese Ma'afu
  • 2 Dylan Hartley
  • 3 Kieran Brookes
  • 4 Api Ratuniyarawa
  • 5 Christian Day
  • 6 Courtney Lawes
  • 7 Tom Wood
  • 8 Teimana Harrison
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 10 Harry Mallinder
  • 11 Ben Foden
  • 12 Tom Stephenson
  • 13 Rob Horne
  • 14 Ken Pisi
  • 15 Ah See Tuala
RESERVES
  • 16 Mikey Haywood
  • 17 Francois Van Wyk
  • 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson
  • 19 Michael Paterson
  • 20 Mitch Eadie
  • 21 Cobus Reinach
  • 22 James Grayson
  • 23 Nafi Tuitavake
START LINE UP
  • 1 Etienne Falgoux
  • 2 Benjamin Kayser
  • 3 Rabah Slimani
  • 4 Flip van der Merwe
  • 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina
  • 6 Damien Chouly
  • 7 Alexandre Lapandry
  • 8 Fritz Lee
  • 9 Morgan Parra
  • 10 Luke McAlister
  • 11 Remy Grosso
  • 12 Remi Lamerat
  • 13 Peter Betham
  • 14 Nick Abendanon
  • 15 Isaiah Toeava
RESERVES
  • 16 Yohan Beheregaray
  • 17 Raphael Chaume
  • 18 Davit Zirakashvili
  • 19 Paul Jedrasiak
  • 20 Arthur Iturria
  • 21 Charly Trussardi
  • 22 Scott Spedding
  • 23 Viktor Kolelishvil
Mc article european champions cup balls 800

Preview: European Champions Cup, Round Five

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:31

QUALIFICATION ON THE LINE: Holders Saracens are among the heavyweights fighting for their European lives when the pool stage concludes over the next two weekends - with coveted quarterfinal places on the line.

Back-to-back defeats to ASM Clermont Auvergne sees the twice European champions, Saracens, seven points adrift of their Top 14 rivals in Pool Two and two points behind this season's leading points scorers, Ospreys, ahead of Saturday's clash at the Liberty Stadium.

Saracens have won all four previous meetings between the clubs in the European Cup, but they have all been close encounters with nine points the largest margin of victory.

The magnificent new U Arena opens its doors to European club rugby for the first time on Sunday as second-placed Racing 92 take on Pool Four pace-setters Munster, who are looking to book a quarterfinal spot for a record 17th time.

The famous Rag Doll will be sporting the colours of Bath at The Recreation Ground Friday, as Scarlets make the short journey from west Wales for a crunch match in Pool Five - which sees the top three clubs separated by a single point.

Bath triumphed in Llanelli in Round Two, but Scarlets have fond memories from their only previous European Cup visit to The Rec when current Backs Coach, Stephen Jones, kicked them to a quarterfinal success in 2002.

Only Leinster and Clermont boast four wins from four and both could clinch places in the knockout stage this weekend.

The French champions head to Northampton on Saturday, while Leinster host Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena on Sunday.

We look at all the Round Five matches!

Friday, January 12

Pool Five:

Bath v Scarlets
(The Recreation Ground - Kick-off: 19.45; 1945 GMT)

This will be the third meeting between the clubs in Europe, both previous fixtures being won by the away side on the day (one win apiece).

Bath have won six of their last seven fixtures against Welsh opposition, a quarterfinal defeat to Scarlets in 2002 their only defeat during that run.

Scarlets won their last away game, against Benetton Rugby, but haven't won consecutive matches on the road since winning all three away games during the 2006/07 pool stage.

Bath have scored seven tries so far in this campaign, fewer than any other side in the tournament.

Tom Dunn has made 89 tackles to date, 22 more than any other player whilst maintaining a success rate of 95 percent.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Matt Garvey (captain), 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano.
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 James Phillips, 20 Paul Grant, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 James Wilson.

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Hadleigh Parkes.

Referee: Jerome Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Phillippe Bonhoure (France)

Saturday, January 13

Pool One:

Ulster v La Rochelle
(Kingspan Stadium - Kick-off: 13.00; 13.00 GMT; 14.00 France)

This will be the second meeting between the clubs, with La Rochelle's victory in Round Two representing Ulster's heaviest defeat in Europe since they lost 60-22 in Toulon in Round Five during the 2014/15 season.

Ulster lost their last home game against TOP 14 opposition but haven't lost consecutive games against French sides at the Kingspan since 2000 when they lost to Bourgoin and Toulouse.

This will be La Rochelle's first Champions Cup game outside France or England. They have travelled to Ireland once in the Challenge Cup, however, losing to Connacht in October 2014 (12-48).

Ulster has won just 81 percent of their own line-outs this season, the lowest rate in the competition.

La Rochelle has a 92 percent goal-kicking success rate this season, the best of any team in the competition, while Ulster's is 76 percent.

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Dave Shanahan, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Darren Cave.

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Jérémy Sinzelle, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Levani Botia, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Afa Amosa, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Benjamin Nobles, 23 Paul Jordaan.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Matthew O'Grady (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)

Pool Three:

Exeter Chiefs v Montpellier
(Sandy Park - Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT; 14.15 French time)

The clubs have met just once in the Champions Cup, Exeter's three-point victory in Round Two was the first time Montpellier had lost at home since they were defeated by Bath in Round 3 during the 2014/15 season.

Overall, Exeter and Montpellier have met three times previously in Europe, having faced each other in the Challenge Cup twice. All three matches have seen the defeated side on the day come away with a losing bonus point.

Montpellier have won each of their last two games, although they've not won more consecutive matches in the competition since a run of five wins in a row during the 2012/13 pool stage.

Sam Simmonds has made more tackles (46) than any other player who is yet to miss one this season.

Montpellier is one of just two clubs with a 100 percent scrum success rate after four rounds (Harlequins are the other).

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Phil Dollman.

Montpellier: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Gabriel N'gandebe, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Gela Aprasidze, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Julien Bardy, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Nicholaas Van Rensburg, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Romain Ruffenach, 17 Grégory Fichten, 18 Mohamed Haouas, 19 Julien Delannoy, 20 Kelian Galletier, 21 Jesse Mogg, 22 Joe Tomane, 23 Benjamin Fall.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (Wales)

Pool One:

Harlequins v Wasps
(The Twickenham Stoop - Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT)

Wasps have won two of the three previous meetings between the clubs in the Champions Cup, including their only visit to the Twickenham Stoop in 2014/15.

Harlequins have lost all four of their pool games this season, their worst run in the competition since 2009/10 when they failed to win a match.

Wasps have won on each of their last two trips to face Aviva Premiership opposition with both victories coming by 20+ points.

Harlequins have scored just 66 points so far, fewer than any other side in the competition.

Wasps have averaged just 13 minutes and 59 seconds in possession to date, the lowest average in the competition.

Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 James Lang, 9 Danny Care, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Archie White, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward (captain), 1 Lewis Boyce.
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Guy Armitage.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Vincent Blasco (France)
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin (France)

Pool Two:

Northampton Saints v ASM Clermont Auvergne
(Franklin's Gardens - Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT; 16.30 French time)

ASM Clermont Auvergne has won all four previous meetings between the clubs, scoring 33 points on average per game in that run and conceding just 11.

This will be just the second time Northampton Saints have hosted Clermont. They met in the 2001/02 pool stage, with Clermont winning 21-15 at Franklin's Gardens.

Saints have lost their last five games in the Champions Cup, however, they've lost just one of their last nine games when hosting TOP 14 opposition.

Clermont is one of two clubs with a 100 percent win rate after four games (also Leinster), their best start to a campaign since winning all six pool stage matches in 2012/13.

Saints have won just 11 turnovers so far, the fewest of any side, they also have the poorest scrum success rate (68 percent).

Teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Harry Mallinder, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Campese Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 James Grayson, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Nick Abendanon, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Remi Grosso, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux.
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Davit Zirakashvili, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Arthur Iturria, 21 Charly Trussardi, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Viktor Kolelishvili.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Leo Colgan (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Pool Two:

Ospreys v Saracens
(Liberty Stadium - Kick-off: 19.45; 19.45 GMT)

Saracens have won all four previous meetings between the clubs, however, each of those victories came by single-figure margins.

The Ospreys come into Saturday's game having won back-to-back matches for the first time since 2011. However, they've not won three consecutive fixtures in the competition since the 2009/10 pool stage.

In contrast, Saracens have lost two games on the bounce for the first time since January 2011 when they lost to Leinster and Clermont in consecutive weeks.

Both clubs have scored 17 tries this season, the joint-highest in the competition.

Saracens have the best line-out success rate (94 percent) this season; only three sides have a worse rate than Ospreys (82 percent).

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Dan Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Will Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Dafydd Howells.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 George Kruis, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Chris Wyles.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Eddie Hogan O'Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Sunday, January 14

Pool Three:

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
(RDS Arena - Kick-off: 13.00; 13.00 GMT)

Leinster have won six of their seven European games against Glasgow, losing only in their first such encounter in 1999.

Only once have Leinster allowed Glasgow within losing bonus point range in their last six games, with five of their six victories against the Warriors coming by 13+ points.

Glasgow has not lost their opening five games of a Champions Cup campaign since 2012/13, while Leinster is aiming to win their opening five games for the first time since 2004/05.

Leinster have conceded the fewest penalties of any side this season (29), whilst Glasgow has conceded the joint most (49, also Ospreys and Saracens).

Glasgow has averaged 15 offloads per game this season, more than any other side in the Champions Cup, however, former Glasgow player Leone Nakarawa of Racing 92 has made the most individually (14).

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Isa Nacewa (captain), 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Rob Kearney.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Ali Price, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Matt Smith, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Greg Peterson, 4 Rob Harley (c), 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Henry Pyrgos.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

Pool Five:

RC Toulon v Benetton
(Stade Felix Mayol - Kick-off: 14.00; 13.00 GMT; 14.00 Italian time)

This will be just the second meeting between the clubs after RC Toulon won in Round Two by a single point.

Benetton has lost their last 10 in a row against TOP 14 opposition, and their defeat against Toulon was the only game in which they finished within 10 points of their opponents during that run.

Toulon has won 22 of their 23 home games in the Champions Cup, losing only to holders Saracens in Round 1 last season.

Toulon has averaged 155 carries per game this season, more than any other side. Benetton ranks fourth in this category, however (138).

Benetton has missed an average of 14 tackles per game - the poorest rate in the competition.

Teams:

Toulon: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Chris Ashton, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Facundo Isa, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Emerick Setiano, 19 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Francois Trinh-Duc, 21 Semi Radradra, 22 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Jocelino Suta.

Benetton: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Nacho Brex, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 6 Federico Ruzza, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Ira Herbst, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tomas Baravalle, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Marco Barbini, 22 Giorgio Bronzini, 23 Tommy Allan.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Pool Four:

Racing 92 v Munster
(U Arena - Kick-off: 16.15; 15.15 GMT; 15.15 UK time)

The clubs have met five times previously. Racing 92 won their first encounter in the 2012/13 season with Munster winning all four fixtures since then.

The last time Racing hosted Munster they suffered their joint heaviest defeat in Europe losing by 25 points, level with losses to Leinster and Clermont.

Despite that defeat to Munster, Racing 92 have managed to win seven of their last nine games at home, never conceding more than 18 points in those seven victories.

Racing has a goal-kicking success rate of just 65 percent this season, the lowest rate of any side in the competition.

The top two ball carriers this season could face each other on Sunday. Christiaan Stander has made a competition high 71 carries, with Leone Nakarawa just one behind on 70.

Teams:

Racing 92: 15 Louis Dupichot, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Rémi Tales, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Edwin Maka, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 20 Boris Palu, 21 Xavier Chauveau, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Joe Rokocoko.

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Alex Wootton.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Pool Four:

Castres Olympique v Leicester Tigers
(Stade Pierre Fabre - Kick-off: 18.30; 17.30 GMT; 17.30 UK time)

Leicester's 25 point win in Round One represented Castres' heaviest defeat since 2014/15 when they lost to Harlequins (19-47).

Castres are unbeaten in their last five home games, their longest run without defeat on home soil since winning eight in a row between October 2001 and October 2005.

Leicester have lost their last six games on the road, those defeats coming by an average margin of 23 points.

George Ford has landed 16 of his 18 shots at goal this season, giving him the best success rate (89 percent) of players to take 10+ kicks.

Yannick Caballero has the unwanted record for most missed tackles so far this season (13).

Teams:

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Kylian Jaminet, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Mathieu Babillot, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Thibault Lassalle, 4 Alexandre Bias, 3 Damien Tussac, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Antoine Tichit.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Firmin, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Victor Moreaux, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Yohan Domenech, 22 Yohan Le Bourhis, 23 Julien Dumora.

Leicester Tigers: 15 George Worth, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Valentino Mapapalangi, 7 Will Evans, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Greg Bateman (captain).
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ben Betts, 19 Joe Maksymiw, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Harry Simmons, 22 Mathew Tait, 23 Nick Malouf.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Source: @ChampionsCup

 

Mc article ben foden saints v clermont 800

Saints open back door with bonus-point win

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 17:00

CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Northampton Saints opened the Pool Two back door with a 34-21 bonus-point win over Clermont Auvergne at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

It was a classic arm-wrestle - with plenty of skill and the usual measure of brutality that comes with most encounters against French opposition.

Northampton won't be advancing to the quarterfinals, but nonetheless produced a tremendous performance.

It also opened the door for Saracens and Ospreys - who meet later - to overtake the French outfit in the last round.

Remy Grosso's second-minute try ensured a flying start for ASM Clermont Auvergne, but Northampton Saints offered a swift riposte as Teimana Harrison crashed over the whitewash to bring the hosts back within two points of the French giants, only for Isaia Toeava to race home and push the visitors to a 12-5 lead after 16 minutes.

Replacement wing Nafi Tuitavake would cross in for Northampton Saints shortly after a Morgan Parra penalty to ensure the deficit was just five points at the interval, with many expecting the French side to return to dominate the second period.

Yet hosts Northampton Saints would draw first blood after the break as Harry Mallinder slotted a penalty kick, only for Ben Foden to break away and score a sensational solo try, deserving of his Heineken Man of the Match merit come full time.

France scrumhalf Parra went on to add another two three-pointer as ASM Clermont Auvergne regained the lead and the Midlands atmosphere began exceptionally tense, but Northampton Saints had the bit between their teeth and eyes firmly set on a first Champions Cup win of the season.

Tries from Ken Pisi and Cobus Reinach saw the Saints go marching in style with a shock victory, which leaves ASM Clermont Auvergne open at the Pool Two summit, with just five points separating them from Ospreys who face defending champions Saracens later.

The scorers:

For Northampton Saints:
Tries:
 Harrison, Tuitavake, Foden, Pisi, Reinach
Cons: Mallinder 3
Pens: Mallinder

For Clermont Auvergne:
Tries:
 Grosso, Toeava
Cons: Parra
Pens: Parra 3

Teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Harry Mallinder, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Campese Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 James Grayson, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Nick Abendanon, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Remi Grosso, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux.
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Davit Zirakashvili, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Arthur Iturria, 21 Charly Trussardi, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Viktor Kolelishvili.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Leo Colgan (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Source: @ChampionsCup

Teimana Harrison (12min), Nafi Tuitavake (31min), Ben Foden (44min), Ken Pisi (63min), and Cobus Reinach (72min)
TRIES
Remy Grosso (1min) and Isaiah Toeava (15min)
Harry Mallinder (45min), Harry Mallinder (64min), and Harry Mallinder (73min)
CONVERSIONS
Morgan Parra (2min)
Harry Mallinder (42min)
PENALTIES
Morgan Parra (30min), Morgan Parra (49min), and Morgan Parra (57min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Franklin's Gardens
REFEREE George Clancy (Ireland)