Revenge is sweet for Clermont as they beat Toulouse

Clermont took revenge on Toulouse on Saturday to inflict a shock 16-6 home defeat on their French Top 14 rivals.

Clermont made the early running, opening the scoring when Australian fly-half Brock James converted a penalty in the eighth minute.

Toulouse struck back in the 30th minute with drop-kick from France international outside-half David Skrela – his first points since joining from Stade Francais in the summer.

But Clermont regained control in 39th minute thanks again to the boot of James, as they looked for their second win of the season.

Toulouse rang in the changes in the second half, but were unable to stop the game’s only try from Fijian Napolioni Nalaga in the 55th minute.

With the home side digging in to protect the lead, Skrela converted a penalty with 20 minutes to go, but Clermont held on to avenge their 26-20 defeat in June’s French rugby championship final.

On Friday Stade Francais had consolidated their lead in the championship with a 19-13 victory at Toulon with both teams playing the second half a man down.

A mass brawl moments before half-time, with props Rodrigo Roncero of Stade Francais and Toulon’s David Banquet getting red cards from referee Jean-Pierre Matheu, was evidence of the tension in both teams.

Promoted Toulon, looking to add to just one victory this season, were already a man down as backrow Jerry Collins had been sin-binned in the 31st minute for stamping.

Stade Francais coach Christophe Dominici said: “It was a complicated victory. Toulon made quite a few problems for us in the lineouts and our play in the loose was not precise.

“Without our good scrum and kicking performance, we would have been in even further difficulty.

“Toulon might have lost to Mont-de-Marsan, but you can’t say they are a mediocre team. In fact, they are a very good team with a lot of commitment and intensity which pleased their own fans and I think they would have beaten a lot of other teams with tonight’s performance.”

Sapa-AFP –

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