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Mont de Marsan 12 - Clermont 11
Lack of Killer Instinct still plagues Clermont
And so it continues. Clermont’s inability to win away from home continued against bottom side Mont de Marsan on Saturday. The visitors showed a few changes to their traditional line-up, with Bai, Senio, Privat and Roux all returning. On a heavy field Clermont weathered the traditional early storm, and set to task, dominating the possession and creating phase play. However their inconsistency was epitomised by unprovoked turnovers and silly penalties. This kept the home side in the game and their back-up stand off, Lafforgue popped over a succession of penalty goals. Clermont managed the only try of the game on the counter attack, with Russell speeding in the corner after 25 mins.
The second half brought more of the same. Turnovers and ‘kick and chase’. The introduction of regulars from the bench – Mignoni, Cudmore, James – upped the intensity for the Yellow and Blues, poor finishing and an ever hungry defence. At 13-12 James had the chance to take the lead, after good pressure on the Mont de Marsan line, but his kick drifted wide of the posts. In the dying seconds the same player broke free of the defense, but couldn’t find Rougerie in support, and the move broke down. The home side wound the clock down for a famous win. The only consolation for the home side was that other results meant that they stay in fifth place, frustrating that they couldn’t make up ground on the leading four. Very much a case of ‘the one that got away’ ……..