Clermont run Bath ragged
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: ASM Clermont Auvergne ran in eight tries as they closed up on Champions Cup Pool Three leaders Ulster with a 52-26 bonus-point win over Bath at Stade Marcel Michelin on Sunday.
Clermont had the bonus point in the bag after 21 minutes with a devastating array of clinical finishing from the hosts.
John Ulugia, Damian Penaud, Alivereti Raka and George Moala were all able to cross the whitewash as Bath’s defence struggled to contain the powerful play from the hosts.
They did show some resolve with Jack Walker and Rauridh McConnochie diving over either side of another try for both Moala and Raka as the half finished 40-14 to Clermont.
The second half was a much tighter affair despite Camille Lopez scoring a seventh Clermont try on 46 minutes after a quick tap and shove over the tryline.
Tom Dunn and Josh Bayliss were the beneficiaries of two powerful driving mauls in the second period and got over the line to ensure Bath would leave with at least a bonus point.
However, Clermont had the final say as Jake McIntyre rounded off a lovely team move with an incisive finish.
Clermont will take on Ulster in Round Five next month at Stade Marcel Michelin in a match that could decide which team tops Champions Cup Pool Three.
Tries: Ulugia, Penaud, Raka 2, Moala 2, Lopez, McIntyre
Cons: Parra 5, Laidlaw
Tries: Walker, McConnochie, Dun, Bayliss
Cons: Burns 3
Yellow card: Sam Nixon (Bath, 74)
Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Samuel Ezeala, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra (captain), 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Alexandre Fischer, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Giorgi Beria.
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 George Merrick, 20 Faifili Levave, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Apisai Naqalevu.
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Max Wright, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Tom Ellis (captain), 6 Mike Williams, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Levi Douglas, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Lewis Boyce.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Sam Nixon, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Sam Underhill, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gabe Hamer-Webb.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)