Clermont v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi Final 2

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Clermont v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi Final 2

Post by eirebilly on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 2:23 pm

First topic message reminder :

Didn't see a thread for this unless I am blind... If there is one, please remove this Mod's thumbsup

Clermont: S Spedding; D Strettle, A Rougerie, R Lamerat, N Abendanon; C Lopez, M Parra, R Chaume, B Kayser, D Zirakashvilli, A Iturria, S Vahaamahina, D Chouly (capt), P Yato, F Lee.

Replacements: J Ulugia, E Falgoux, A Jarvis, P Jedrasiak, A Lapandry, L Radosavljevic, P Fernandez, D Penaud.

Leinster: J Carbery; F McFadden, G Ringrose, R Henshaw I Nacewa (capt); J Sexton, L McGrath, J McGrath, R Strauss, T Furlong, D Toner, H Triggs, R Ruddock, D Leavy, J Conan.

Replacements: S Cronin, P Dooley, M Bent, R Molony, J van der Flier, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, Z Kirchner.

Anyways, c'mon Leinster.



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Re: Clermont v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi Final 2

Post by sensisball on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 6:21 pm

Leinster used to win these games away as well, but i guess there were several injuries to experienced players (OBrien, Heaslip, Kearney (X2)) plus Healy's suspension would certainly have affected the composure of the team.
In contrast where Brock James tended to freeze a bit (or  a lot) Lopez looks like he is much tougher mentally.
Interesting to watch the wheels beginning to come off at La Rochelle, with James at 10- a  first league defeat since December followed up by a loss at home to Gloucester in the challenge cup.

I think Clermont have the fire power to worry Sarries for about 60 but can they stay in the game for the full 80? A lot will depend on whether Parra recovers fully from the leg knock that took him off the field and can the main players (Lee, Lopez, Lamerat) stay fresh with two  crucial league games to come before the final.
With Montpellier's two recent big wins Clermont have slipped to  third in the T14 meaning an extra game to play at the business end of the season unless they get second spot back again. A hell of a congested end to their season.

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Re: Clermont v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi Final 2

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 6:40 pm

sensisball wrote:Plus Clermont's lineout worked, they dominated the scrums, controlled the breakdown for the first half and had a stand off that dropped two fantastic drop goals and hardly put a foot wrong all day. Plus Parra picked out his wingers amazingly well for the two tries.
Apart from that I guess it was mainly home advantage that got them through.
From a Lions perspective the way Furlong and McGrath got pushed about for many of the scrums, (they lost 1 or 2 on their put in) was somewhat alarming.
Also thought that Sexton looked less than assured for large chunks of the game culminating in the last play when he half tackled Fritz Lee as Lee attempted to join the last ruck in the match resulting in a friendly slap in the chops from Lee!

Clermont started explosively too and managed to insert breaks into the play better than Leinster. Leinster weren't prepared for ASM to push the tempo early on and got caught.
Cullen played a back-up outhalf out of position at fullback in his first year of professional rugby in a European semi-final (he performed well all things considered).
Cullen then put McFadden on the wing creeping back to relying on names that were playing back in his playing days and excusing it as needing experience when both Byrne and O'Loughlin had been burning up the yards all season. Same goes for Strauss, Tracey is the form hooker and he doesn't get a look in.... Cullen goes with 'experience'. Now he's left with a defeat, an aging Strauss who has let him down, a disappointed Tracey who was shunned come the important game and also Tracey doesn't gain any big day experience so the same mistake can be made next year again.
Nacewa suffered from heat-stroke, an unfortunate occasion to have an off-day.
Sexton came across as very moany towards Nigel Owens, it turns a referee away from giving you benefit of the doubt further down the line.
Cullens resting of players over the past two weeks didn't pay dividends. Players that need a game back to get rid of ring rust were rested last weekend while some of the ones that can come back into big games after a week off played last weekend and were rested the week before.
The most depressing part from a Leinster point of view was even with Cullen reverting to some bad habits when the pressure comes on at the business end of the season we were still in with a chance. Indeed if two of SOB, Heaslip or Rob were fit for the game it could have swung things the other way.
Healy needs a proper smack across the head, his stupidity from the previous week really dented our chances in the game. The citing was correct, ban was/is deserved. He needs to learn, he should be a pack (nay a team) leader at this stage of his career.
Leavy reversed try was the right call. Thought for a split second that Leavy was still part of the ruck when he initiated contact but the break doesn't happen if he doesn't infringe.
Some of the Leinster kicking was terrible.
Clermont's restart late in the game, winning their own kick-off back was a great piece of kicking by lopez and fielding by their replacement back (name escapes me).
If Fofana was fit this ASM side could run Saracens very close. Unfortunately I think Saracens are too good a side and might simply have to have the patience to let Clermont implode through nerves when they play in Murrayfield.

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Re: Clermont v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi Final 2

Post by sensisball on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 10:44 pm

bandwagon

Unfortunately i think you are correct re Fofana's absence. When he was playing inside Lamerat earlier in the season Clermont were tearing teams apart - i  remember poor Exeter being cut to shreds in the game that Fofana tore his achilles.
Also, next season Clermont will have Rabah Slimani, the current French starting tight head on their books. The young centre you mentioned during that last play was 20 year old Damian Penaud, who has looked like a great addition to the first team.

What is refreshing is that Clermont are bringing on so many French youngsters. Of the 10 players who have joined the first team squad this season, 7 are French.

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