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A victory to kick start the season !
For the big match of the 4th journey of TOP 14, Clermont beat Stade Toulousain by the score of 16 to 6. The season is now underway for the “yellow and blue” who refound their quick game and a strong setpiece.
Saturday, September 13th 2008
Clermont (Marcel Michelin stadium) unsettled weather, strong wind (in favour of Clermont during the 1st half ) . Attendance : 14, 874. ASM Clermont Auvergne beat Stade toulousain (16-6). Half time : 6-3. Referee M. Berdos.
Clermont : 1 try Nalaga (56e) ; 3 penalties (8e ,39e,66e) de James ; and one conversion.
Toulouse : 1 penalty (61e) and 1 drop goal (31e) Skrela.
In a sold out stadium and under a threatening sky, Clermont started the match ambitiously. Helped by the wind , Clermont dominate territory and are rewarded by a penalty, converted by Brock James. The setpiece of Vern Cotter’s pack starts get the upper hand over the Toulouse. Julien Bonnaire and Julien Pierre control the lineou,providing quality ball. The boys in “red and black” defend herocially, especially after a series of scrums on their own line where they do not concede a penalty. For their part after the first incursion into the Auvergne camp, David Skrela scores afrom aperfectly struck drop goal. After 31 minutes played the score is square at 3 points apiece. Fullback Baby (excellent throughout the match) and winger Malzieu became increasingly prominent before the break, well served by the powerful centre Marius Joubert. The home attack becomes more frenzied and dynamic, with both Nalaga and Baby missing try scoring oppurtunites.
This pressure leads to the « Yellow and Blues » scoring a second Brock James penalty on the stroke of half time, Clermont going into the changing room 6-3 ahead and having deprived Toulouse of the ball for much of the half.
Into the second half the Auvergnats find themselves playing against a stiff breeze, but quickly exert pressure deep into the Toulouse half, without actually scoring. Developing the setpiece dominance of the first half, a strong Clermont scrum leads to a great midfield move in which Brock James sends try scoring machine Nalaga ghosting past Toulouse’s David Skrela to dive in for the first try of the game.
13 - 3 after 55 minutes. Clermont continue to play most of the rugby, and their defence puts paid to Toulouseés traditional passing game, pressurising them at every opportunity. The introduction of Debaty, Jacquet and Floch only serves to up the Clermont domination. The game finishes 16-6 and Toulouse go home tryless and more importantly without a defensive bonus point. Clermont breath more easily and can comfortably prepare for the next challenge against Castres.
Clermont team: 1.Laurent Emmanuelli – 2.Mario Ledesma – 3.Davit Zirakashvili – 4.Julien Pierre – 5. Thibault Privat – 6.Julien Bonnaire – 7.Alexandre Audebert – 8.Elvis Vermeulen(cap)– 9.Pierre Mignoni – 10.Brock James – 11.Julien Malzieu – 12.Marius Joubert – 13.Gonzalo Canale – 14. Napolioni Nalaga – 15.Benoît Baby.
Remplaçants : 16.Mirko Lozupone – 17.Vincent Debaty – 18.Loïc Jacquet – 19.Emmanuel Etien – 20. John Senio – 21.Seremaia Bai – 22 Anthony Floch – 23.Thomas Domingo
Toulouse Team : 1. Jean-Batiste Poux– 2. Alberto Vernet-Basualdo– 3.Omar Hasan – 4. Romain Millo-Chluski– 5. Fabien Pelous(cap) – 6.Yannick Nyanga– 7. Thierry Dusautoir – 8.Shaw Sawerby– 9.Byron Kellher – 10.David Skrela– 11.Yves Donguy– 12. Florian Fritz– 13. Maleli Kunavore – 14. Manu Ahotaeleiloa– 15.Maxime Medard.
Remplaçants : 16. William Servat – 17. Daan Human – 18. Grégory Lamboley – 19. Jean Bouilhou– 20. Nicolas Bezy – 21. Cédric Heymans– 22. Yannick Jauzion – 23.Salvatore Perugini.
Laurent Emmanuelli : "We needed that kind of intensive match. We had some problems in scrum but we are at the beginning of the season and but are finding our level againé
Elvis Vermeulen : « The most important thing it that we have found our hunger and aggressiveness again. We said it to ourselves before the match, and it was proven on the field. We know now that we have to keep the concentration up for Castres next week. And the Castres Players, after four defeats in four matchs, will have terrible pressure on them for this game ".
Gonzalo Canale : When we play against Toulouse, we know that it’s always difficult to beat their defense. I think that this match is a reference. Our season begins today.
Guy Novès : " We came here to play well. At half-time, we hoped for better. Finally we left with nothing because simply the opposition was better than us".