Clermont start season with a win
August 18, 2012
Stade Francais' Laurent Sempere takes the ball into contact © Getty Images
Clermont Auvergne started their season on the right note with a narrow 13-6 win over Bayonne on Saturday.
It was a hard fought affair with the score locked at 3-3 at half-time, but Clermont went into the lead early in the second 40 with Jean-Marcel Buttin going over for Les Jaunards. Morgan Parra kicked the extras but Bayonne's Jacques-Louis Potgieter pinned them back with a penalty soon after. The two kickers traded kicks but Clermont held on for their first win of the new Top 14 Orange campaign.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Stade Francais made a good start to the new season with a convincing 32-16 win over Montpellier. Paul Warwick and Remy Bonfils crossed for the Parisian side with new signing Jerome Porical adding the rest of the points with the boot.
Top 14 newcomers Grenoble started their campaign in sensational style with a committed 29-28 win away from home over Bordeaux-Begles. They scored two tries in the space of two minutes with Kenan Mutapcic and Rida Jahouer going over while Bordeaux's scores came from Heini Adams, Patrick-Albert Toetu and Blair Connor.
Biarritz picked up a bonus point with a 35-10 win over newly promoted Mont-de-Marson. Damien Traille, Iain Balshaw, Wenceslas Lauret and Benoit Baby went over for the home side with A Ricaud scoring a consolation try for the visitors.
In Agen, the home side lost 24-20 to Racing Metro. Agen's Ross Skeate scored the sole try of the game but the boot of Jonathan Wisniewski proved to be enough to give the Parisians the win.
On Friday, reigning champions Toulouse received a fright in their opening fixture of the new season, scraping home 23-22 against Castres at the Stade Ernest Wallon.
Guy Noves' side trailed heading into the closing stages, with winger Timoci Matanavou rescuing the game 10 minutes from time with a try. Toulouse had been tormented to that point by Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott, who scored all of his side's points thanks to five penalties and a converted try.
Lionel Beauxis and Luke McAlister - starting at 10 and 12 respectively - shared 18 points from the tee for Toulouse, while Castres paraded new signing Pedrie Wannenburg - a Heineken Cup finalist with Ulster last term - from the bench.
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