Bordeaux-Begles strike late again to win at Clermont

Clermont-Ferrand (France) (AFP) –


Bordeaux-Begles scored a try six minutes into added time to win 37-36 at Clermont on Saturday and continue their Top 14 revival.

A week after a late penalty gave them a one-point victory away to Racing, Bordeaux-Begles trailed by seven points with five minutes to play but fought back to jump from seventh to fourth in the table.

Under late pressure, Clermont, who started the day one place above their visitors, cracked. They conceded a 75th minute penalty which Maxime Lucu converted. Then as the siren sounded to signal that 80 minutes were up, Clermont infringed at a ruck.

Scrum half Lucu found touch. After the lineout, Nathaniel Hulleu, a second half substitute, crossed the line for the visitors, but the try was ruled out after review. Instead, Clermont centre Jean-Pascal Barraque received a yellow card for a deliberate knock on in the build up.

Bordeaux-Begles again kicked to touch and their pressure was rewarded when winger Hulleu touched down in the corner while Alivereti Raka tried to haul him out of play.

This time the try was given and Raka received a yellow card for a high tackle.

Bordeaux finished January unbeaten in five Top 14 games. The only match they did not win was at home to Clermont on January 16, when a late penalty by Barraque gave the visitors a 16-16 draw.

On Saturday, in a game of wild momentum swings, prop Clement Maynadier and fullback Romain Buros gave Bordeaux-Begles an early lead with tries in the first 10 minutes, but Ben Botica missed both conversions and a penalty after 22 minutes.

The home team fought back with tries by Fritz Lee and Barraque. With fly half Camille Lopez landing both conversions and kicking two penalties, the home side led 22-10 at the break.

Lucu took over kicking and landed two penalties and also converted Jean-Baptiste Dubie's try as the visitors regained the lead after an hour.

Clermont replied with a try by Lee and after Bordeaux Begles were reduced to 14 when flanker Alexandre Roumat received a yellow card with 11 minutes to play Lopez landed his eighth successful kick from nine attempts to give the home team a seven-point lead.

Lyon and Toulon, who are both in action later on Saturday, can overtake Bordeaux-Begles before the end of the round. The top-of-the table match at La Rochelle has been postponed after a cluster of coronavirus cases at leaders Toulouse.