James Crombie/INPHO Nick Abendanon scored the opening try for Clermont.
# never in doubt
Clinical Clermont keep pressure on Munster after bonus point win
Munster’s pool rivals have made things interesting ahead of their back-to-back clashes.

Clermont 35

Sale 3

CLERMONT LEFT IT late but ultimately their class and power shone through as they secured a comprehensive four-try 35-3 win over Sale at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

The win leaves Munster atop pool one with eight points, with Clermont on six and Saracens on five.

Clermont took the lead midway through the first half after Jonathan Davies gathered his own kick and popped it to the onrushing Nick Abendanon, who fended off Tom Arscott to dot down in the corner. Lopez converted and also kicked two penalties to Danny Cipriani’s one to end the half with Clermont 13-3 in front.

Camille Lopez extended the home side’s lead with another penalty early in the second 40 before Clermont once again exploited Sale’s kick defence. This time Napolioni Nalaga was the beneficiary after the wing ran onto Lopez’s kick through to score.

Sale had an extended period in and around the Clermont line when they could have struck back but the home side’s tigerish work in defence and at the breakdown ensured they kept their try line intact.

Clermont scored their third try with eight minutes to go – wing Noa Nakaitaci bamboozled the Sale defence with a show-and-go before releasing Nalaga who then exchanged passes with Wesley Fofana before going over in the corner.

They then secured the bonus point after breaking out of defence through Aurélien Rougerie, with the Clermont lifer fending off two Sale defenders to just about make it over. Lopez’s impressive performance ended in style as he nailed the touchline conversions after Nalaga and Rougerie’s try.

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