Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The snow of Stade Marcel Michelin did little to dampen the occasion as Pool Three of the Heineken Cup produced a high scoring match that had hosts Clermont running out victors 40-30 over the Leicester Tigers.
Clermont dominated the match before Leicester saved face with a late flurry of tries from Toby Flood, Anthony Allen, and Jeremy Staunton.
"Credit to Clermont for that first 50 or 60 minutes, they played fantastically well," Flood said afterwards. "But for us it is a big look at ourselves. Clermont came out of the blocks and we turned over the ball and conceded points."
"We let it go during that first hour and we are really disappointed they got that far ahead of us," he added.
The two sides meet again on Saturday, this time at Welford Road, but with the control shown by the French side, theyd probably be favourites for the match.
"It is a very important game next weekend. Our pride has been dented, and it is important we bounce back," said Flood.
Leicester were determined to take something away from the game as they searched frantically for two losing bonus points. They almost got them right at the death with one final counter-attack, in what was an exciting finish to the entertaining match.
Clermont, who led 35-9 with little over 20 minutes left, kept them out though, denying the visitors the consolation points.
"We kept battling and in the end we are disappointed not to come away with anything, Flood added.
A great win for Clermont, who will take plenty of confidence from the way they scored points at will in the first half. Leicester, who conceded the most points they ever have in Europe, will need to win this weekend to stay afloat in Pool Three.
Note: If you'd like the longer highlights with French commentary, you can view them here