Sun 17 Jan 2021 | 10:00

Long-awaited penalty sends Clermont fourth

Long-awaited penalty sends Clermont fourth
Sun 17 Jan 2021 | 10:00
Long-awaited penalty sends Clermont fourth
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TOP 14, SATURDAY WRAP: France wing Damian Penaud said Clermont were “satisfied” after Jean-Pascal Barraque kicked his first penalty goal in more than four years to take them up to fourth in the Top 14 after Saturday’s 16-16 draw at Bordeaux-Begles.

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Barraque returned to the longer-form of the game this season after the World Rugby Sevens Series was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and slotted the three-pointer with eight minutes to play.

“We found it hard but I think that the match can be an example for us. We remained intense and stayed solid for 80 minutes,” try-scorer Penaud told Canal+.

“Nothing’s perfect but we feel we played well. We’re satisfied,” he added.

The fixture was one of four league games rescheduled for the weekend after European matches were cancelled over Covid-19 fears in Britain.

Bordeaux-Begles coach Christophe Urios made four changes from last weekend’s win over Lyon as Australia No.8 Scott Higginbotham started for the first time since December 19.

Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima returned to Franck Azema’s Clermont team after being rested for last Sunday’s hammering of Pau.

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At Stade Chaban-Delmas, Clermont were down to 13 men within a quarter of an hour as captain Peceli Yato and hooker Adrien Pelissie were shown yellow cards.

Maxime Lamothe crossed from a rolling maul immediately after Pelissie’s sanction before France wing Penaud’s converted try brought the sides level 7-7.

Flyhalf Mathieu Jalibert, who was named in France’s Six Nations squad alongside Penaud earlier this week, and Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Parra traded penalty goals as the home team led 13-10 at the break.

Clermont flank Alexandre Fischer, named as one of France’s five training partners for the Six Nations, left the field with a neck injury on the hour mark after a further shot apiece from Parra and Jalibert.

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Then, from 50 metres, Barraque kicked his effort, a first in the league since April 2016, with eight minutes remaining to take the two points for his side, who remain without a win in the western city since 2017.

Later, Bayonne host Pau as Australia fullback Jesse Mogg is set to make his first appearance since April 2019 after recovering from a shin injury.

On Sunday, 13th placed Montpellier welcome Castres eyeing their first win in six games.

Elsewhere, Toulon travel to Racing 92 and could have South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth return from concussion after being sidelined since mid-December.

French Top 14 results on Saturday:

Bordeaux-Begles 16-16 Clermont 16

Bayonne 22-23 Pau 23

Playing Sunday (GMT)

Montpellier v Castres (13.45)
Racing 92 v Toulon (20.05)

PV: 12
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Long-awaited penalty sends Clermont fourth - france | Rugby365