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Tigers win tough away in Clermont

Figure image

Leicester Tigers scored five tries in a 15-point, 29-44 victory over ASM Clermont Auvergne in Round 3 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup.

The victory continues Leicester’s unbeaten run in the European campaign heading into the final round of the pool stages next Friday night against Ospreys at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Matt Scott scored two tries, including the first just three minutes into the game to silence the near 15,000 strong Stade Marcel-Michelin crowd, while Dan Kelly, Harry Simmons and James Cronin each added scores.

Handré Pollard finished with 14 points from the tee, with Jimmy Gopperth adding 5 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

Ben Youngs led the side out in a record-equalling match for the scrum-half which sees him join Geordan Murphy on 74 Heineken Champions Cup appearances for Tigers, while Dan Kelly celebrated his 50th appearance with a try.

Included in the matchday squad were three players - Pollard, Gopperth and Joe Taufete’e - making their first European appearance for Leicester, while Sean Jansen started for the first time in Champions Cup rugby and Emeka Ilione, a week after his first Gallagher Premiership outing, came off the bench for his European debut.

The fixture was the fourth between the two clubs in less than a year, after meeting in last season’s Round of 16, and sixth since their first clash in 2005.

One of rugby’s loudest supporter bases were in typical full voice from before kick-off in Clermont but, after only three minutes, hushed when their backline attempted to go wide from the base of a scrum near halfway and could only watch on as Scott swooped to intercept the attack and run it in from halfway.

Pollard’s first of four conversions meant Tigers led by seven, which remained the difference until the 20th minute when the fly-half landed a penalty-goal attempt to stretch it to 10 points.

The home side hit back to close the gap to three points with their first try of the night, to Bautista Delguy, which Anthony Belleau converted in the 25th minute.

However, once again, the Yellow Army’s volume was significantly lowered when Youngs - with an advantage being played in Leicester’s favour - opted to send a bullet pass to the left wing from a ruck for Simmons, who stepped inside and out again to leave Clermont’s defence in his wake.

Pollard’s conversion from the touchline saw Tigers out to a 10 point lead on the half hour mark, before it was extended to 17 just three minutes later when Kelly crossed at the back of a driving maul.

A man down, after Fritz Lee was shown a yellow card for a high shot on Youngs, Clermont were placed under immense pressure by Leicester’s set piece and - with the help of backs, including Kelly - the visitors pushed their way over from a 5m line out.

Pollard, again from the sideline, added the extra two points to make it 7-24 with just five minutes remaining in the first half.

But, Clermont responded within sixty seconds of the re-start when Etienne Fourcade crossed for the home side’s second and Belleau converted to send the sides into the break 13 points apart.

A try almost immediately after the break for Belleau, which he was unable to convert, meant it was an eight-point game before Pollard’s second penalty-goal of the night stretched it to 11 points and Scott’s second try, which was converted, saw it out to 15 points after 45 minutes.

Scott’s first was all instinct but his second was one placed straight from the playbook.

A line out was brought down, deep inside the Clermont half, and shifted from the back by Youngs to Pollard, who found Freddie Steward on the inside, into space to offload for his centre in support.

The fourth conversion of the night from Pollard made it a 15-point lead with 35 minutes still to play.

After looking likely on a handful of occasions, only to be foiled by the scramble and fight of a Tigers side who refused to let up, Clermont managed to secure a competition point with a fourth try in the 50th minute.

Sending everything down Leicester’s right, they managed to break through in the unlikeliest of ways when second-rower Paul Jedrasiask impersonated an outside-back with speed and a dummy to die for.

The lock’s try and Belleau’s conversion closed the gap to eight points before the Clermont fly-half cut the deficit to five points with nine minutes left on the clock.

With the passionate crowd roaring them home, the wind was at the back of the home side before Leicester looked to have shut down any idea of a comeback with a Gopperth penalty-goal on 75 minutes.

Eight points ahead, with five minutes remaining, the game remained anyone’s before - with just two minutes on the clock - replacement prop James Cronin crashed over from close range after a patient build-up from the visitors.

Gopperth’s conversion with only sixty seconds left meant the difference would be 15 points, finishing 29-44 and seeing Tigers remain undefeated in this season’s European campaign approaching the final round.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

ASM 14-27 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

ASM 29-44 LEI

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Frank Murphy

ASM Clermont Auvergne
ASM Clermont Auvergne
29

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
44
ASM Clermont Auvergne
T
C
T
C
T
T
C
P
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
T
C
P
T
C
T
C
P
T
C
P
T
C

Match Stats

ASM Clermont Auvergne
Leicester Tigers
Possession
57%
43%
Territory
52%
48%
Penalties Conceded
15
6
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
76/87 87%
149/176 85%
Scrums Won
5/5 100%
8/8 100%
Lineouts Won
7/8 88%
19/20 95%

Player Stats

ASM Clermont Auvergne
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Charlie Atkinson
14Freddie Steward
13Matt Scott2T
12Dan Kelly1T
11Harry Simmons1T
10Handre Pollard4C2P
9Ben Youngs
1James Whitcombe
2Charlie Clare
3Joe Heyes
4Harry Wells
5Cameron Henderson
6Ollie Chessum
7Tommy Reffell
8Sean Jansen
16Joe Taufete'e
17James Cronin1T
18Will Hurd
19Olly Cracknell
20Emeka Ilione
21Jack van Poortvliet
22Jimmy Gopperth1C1P
23Harry Potter

Commentary

TIGERS FIGHT FOR WIN IN FRANCE

Leicester Tigers record a famous victory away from home over ASM Clermont Auvergne.

CON | JIMMY GOPPERTH

Jimmy Gopperth converts.

TRY | JAMES CRONIN

Patience from Leicester is rewarded and James Cronin crashes over from close range.

PEN | JIMMY GOPPERTH

A patient build-up of phases in attack is rewarded with three points as Jimmy Goperth lands the attempt to extend the lead to eight points.

PEN | CLERMONT

The home side cut the deficit to just five points with eight minutes left through the boot of Anthony Belleau. 

70

SINGLE DIGIT MINUTES

Eight points the difference with just nine minutes left on the clock in Clermont.

65

TIGERS HOLD ON ... FOR NOW

The visitors refuse to let Clermont in after preventing a near-certain score on their line with another massive scramble in defence.

63

BACK TO BACK EFFORTS

Leicester are put under immense pressure, over and over, by Clermont on their line but send the home side away with two huge set piece defensive efforts.

CRACK IS BACK

Olly Cracknell is brought on in the back-row in place of Sean Jansen.

55

SCRAMBLE FROM TIGERS

Leicester forced into scrambling at the back after Clermont find space down the left and do it successfully, forcing an error from the home side before winning a penalty at the scrum to follow.

DOUBLE CHANGE MADE

James Cronin and Harry Potter are on in place of James Whitcombe and Matt Scott. 

CON | CLERMONT

Anthony Belleau converts and the difference is just 10 points with half an hour remaining.

TRY | CLERMONT

The home side stretch Tigers in defence and find a hole down the left in attack before crossing through Paul Jedrasiak.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts from in front and Leicester's lead is 15 points after 45 minutes.

TRY | MATT SCOTT

A perfectly executed backline move from Tigers slices open the Clermont defence and Matt Scott finishes under the posts.

TRY | CLERMONT

First points of the second half are Clermont's after the home side find space down the left and, despite a scramble from Tigers in defence, the ball bounces into the arms of Anthony Belleau over the line.

BACK IN ACTION

The second-half is underway in Clermont as Anthony Belleau sends the re-start deep into Leicester's half.

TIGERS LEAD AT THE BREAK

Leicester take a 13-point lead into the break in France after an action packed opening to this European fixture.

PEN | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Another successful attempt from Handré Pollard adds three to the Tigers tally with the final play of the first half.

CON | CLERMONT

The difference is just ten points after a successful conversion from Anthony Belleau.

TRY | CLERMONT

Immediate response from Clermont, who find some space from inside their own half and convert from close range only a few phases later in the corner through Etienne Fourcade.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts from out wide to extend the lead to 17 points after 35 minutes.

TRY | DAN KELLY

On the back of a well-executed driving maul from a lineout 5m out from the Clermont line, Dan Kelly crashes over at the back of the pack.

YELLOW | CLERMONT

The home side are down a man for the next 10 minutes after Fritz Lee is shown a yellow card for a high shot on Ben Youngs.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts from out wide and Leicester's lead is ten points, 7-17, after half an hour in Clermont.

TRY | HARRY SIMMONS

The dancing feet of Harry Simmons, one pass of the ruck down the left wing sees him step his way through and score in the corner.

CON | CLERMONT

Anthony Belleau converts the Clermont try to close the gap to three points after 26 minutes in France.

TRY | CLERMONT

Playing with an advantage, deep inside Leicester's half, Clermont move the ball quickly to the right and find space down the touchline before an inside pass sends Bautista Delguy over.

PEN | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Another big defensive effort from Tigers earns a penalty within range for Handré Pollard, who steps up and lands it to see Leicester to a 10-point lead after 21 minutes.

18

TOMMY TURNOVER STEPS UP

Clermont piling on pressure in attack, phase after phase, throwing their big men at the Leicester from just metres out.

Several attempts in and Tommy 'Turnover' Reffell wins possession back with a penalty at the breakdown. Big play after a brave team effort in defence.

12

Leicester on the attack deep inside the Clermont half, with an advantage, but it's called back after a mess at the breakdown and Ben Youngs points to the posts for an attempt at three points.

The attempt at goal swings to the left of the uprights and the home side will have the 22m re-start as the clock ticks past the 13th minute in France.

10

ATTACK FOILED

Tigers go wide with a set piece play from the first phase off a scrum, 5m out from the Clermont line, but Freddie Steward is turned over and a penalty won by the home side at the breakdown.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts from in front and Leicester Tigers lead by seven after just four minutes in France.

TRY | MATT SCOTT

Clermont look to move the ball wide, quickly, from the set piece on halfway and Matt Scott swoops on a long pass to run it in and score under the posts!

UNDERWAY IN CLERMONT

Handré Pollard gets tonight's fixture - and Round 3 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup - underway at Stade Marcel-Michelin! 


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Alex Newsome
14
Bautista Delguy
13
Cheikh Tiberghien
12
Irae Simone
11
Alivereti Raka
10
Anthony Belleau
9
Baptiste Jauneau
1
Daniel Bibi Biziwu
2
Adrien Pelissie
3
Rabah Slimani
4
Paul Jedrasiak
5
Miles Amatosero
6
Judicael Cancoriet
7
Alexandre Fischer
8
Fritz Lee

Subs

16
Etienne Fourcade
17
Giorgi Beria
18
Davit Kubriashvili
19
Edward Annandale
20
Killian Tixeront
21
Sebastien Bezy
22
Jules Plisson
23
George Moala

Team News | Tigers side to play Clermont in France

Figure image

Richard Wigglesworth has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to play ASM Clermont Auvergne in Round 3 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup pool stages.

Ben Youngs captains the side in his 74th Heineken Champions Cup appearance for Tigers, equalling Geordan Murphy as the club’s most-capped player in Europe’s top-tier.

Ollie Chessum and Freddie Steward are named as vice-captains for the first time ahead of the European match at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

In a new-look front-row, Charlie Clare is the hooker and James Whitcombe and Joe Heyes the starting props.

Harry Wells and Cameron Henderson are partnered in the second-row, while Chessum, Tommy Reffell and Sean Jansen make up the starting back-row.

Jansen’s selection at No.8 will be 23-year-old’s first starting appearance in Europe for Tigers.

Handré Pollard will make his first appearance in the Heineken Champions Cup for Tigers alongside Youngs as the starting half-backs and, in the midfield, Dan Kelly and Matt Scott are the centre-pairing.

The fixture will be the 21-year-old Kelly’s 50th appearance for Leicester Tigers.

In the back-three, Harry Simmons starts on the wing for a second successive weekend while Freddie Steward shifts from full-back to the other wing and Charlie Atkinson, in his first European appearance for Tigers, starts in the No.15 shirt.

Joe Taufete’e, James Cronin and Will Hurd are the replacement front-rowers.

Olly Cracknell is in line for a return to action after being included on the bench alongside fellow back-rower Emeka Ilione on the Tigers bench.

Jack van Poortvliet, Jimmy Gopperth and Harry Potter are the replacement backs.

Taufete’e and Gopperth - if used - will make their first appearances in the Heineken Champions Cup for Tigers and Ilione, a week after his Gallagher Premiership debut, is in line for his European debut.

STARTING XV
15 Charlie Atkinson [8]
14 Freddie Steward (vc) [65]
13 Matt Scott [55]
12 Dan Kelly [49]
11 Harry Simmons [27]
10 Handré Pollard [2]
9 Ben Youngs (c) [292]
1 James Whitcombe [32]
2 Charlie Clare [66]
3 Joe Heyes [112]
4 Harry Wells [169]
5 Cameron Henderson [25]
6 Ollie Chessum [41]
7 Tommy Reffell (vc) [89]
8 Sean Jansen [13]

REPLACEMENTS
16 Joe Taufete’e [4]
17 James Cronin [9]
18 Will Hurd [16]
19 Olly Cracknell [12]
20 Emeka Ilione [7]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [58]
22 Jimmy Gopperth [7]
23 Harry Potter [54]

Clermont XV: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Cheik Tiberghien, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Baptiste Jauneau; 1 Daniel Bibi Biziwu, 2 Adrien Pélissié, 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 5 Miles Amatosero, 6 Judicaël Cancoriet, 7 Alexandre Fischer, 8 Fritz Lee (c)

Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Giorgi Beria, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Edward Annandale, 20 Killian Tixeront, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 George Moala

Match Officials
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Cole (Ireland) & Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI4301116892711101114
9
ASM Clermont Auvergne
ASM Clermont AuvergneASM410385111-26812116
Form Guide
Form
LWLLL
Last Match
Lost to Stormers 16-30
Past Meeting
Lost 29-44
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLWLL
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints 18-19
Past Meeting
Won 44-29

Matchday Live

ASM Clermont Auvergne29
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Leicester Tigers44
Leicester Tigers
Full Time