Belfast Telegraph

Clermont take honours in all-French battle

Clermont 49 Bordeaux 33

Clermont defeated French rivals Bordeaux 49-33 in a hugely entertaining Champions Cup clash at Stade Marcel Michelin.

Bordeaux, victors over Ulster last weekend, made a strong start as Jean-Marcel Buttin and Jayden Spence crossed for tries, with Ian Madigan kicking the extra points on each occasion. However, the boot of Morgan Parra limited the damage for the Top 14 leaders as he was successful with three penalties.

Clermont then flexed their muscles with Noa Nakaitaci scoring, and Parra again adding the extras, to give the hosts the lead before Alexander Lapandry and Wesley Fofana ran in tries.

But Bordeaux claimed a bonus of their own as Buttin posted his second try before setting up Met Talebula, while Gauthier Doubrere scored a late consolation.

Meanwhile, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen bemoaned the concession of cheap tries during his side's 22-16 European Champions Cup loss to Montpellier at the Altrad Stadium.

Two of Montpellier's three tries came from Leinster errors in rain-soaked conditions, with centre Vincent Martin turning a Cian Healy knock-on into an opportunist score and Nemani Nadolo doing likewise when intercepting a Jamie Heaslip pass.

In between, Fijian winger Nadolo bulldozed past Rob Kearney to help the French side lead 14-3 at half-time, but a smash-and-grab raid earned Leinster a losing bonus point thanks to captain Isa Nacewa's late converted try.

"It was a strange game, really strange. Those conditions were difficult and it led to it being quite a scrappy game in the first half in particular," Cullen said.

"You have to be able to deal with things like that if you want to progress in this tournament."

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