Newsome Double Sinks Edinburgh Against Clermont


On a difficult night in France, Edinburgh Rugby fell to a 31-18 defeat to ASM Clermont Auvergne in the opening fixture of the EPCR Challenge Cup 2023-24.

Australian full-back Alex Newsome was at the heart of the performance, scoring a crucial brace of tries as scores from centre George Moala and replacement Daniel Bibi Biziwu secured a bonus point win in Pool 3 for the hosts.

It was a difficult first half for Edinburgh Rugby, who struggled to make their chances count while ASM Clermont Auvergne, by comparison, was clinical when the game shifted in their favour.

Moala got across for the first try of the game in the 24th minute, with fly-half Anthony Belleau kicking his first points to add the extras.

It was then full-back Newsome’s turn to get in on the action, the Australian finishing well to put the hosts 14-0 up.

A further Belleau penalty reinforced Edinburgh’s misery, before full-back Tim Swiel kicked the Scottish side’s first points of the game to send the sides in with the scoreline at 17-3.

Hope was renewed almost immediately after the break, prop Javan Sebastian going over shortly after the resumption for a converted score.

In what was a hard-fought second half, Edinburgh added three more points from the boot of fly-half Cameron Scott who kicked a long-range penalty to bring them even closer to their hosts.

But things soon turned again, this time against the Scottish side. In quick succession, Newsome crossed for his second and Bibi Biziwu went over too to add 14 points to ASM Clermont Auvergne’s score and put them out of sight.

A consolation five points was scored from Wes Goosen, but Edinburgh ended their night wondering what might have been.

ASM Clermont Auvergne will now face Gloucester Rugby in England next week, while Edinburgh will try to bounce back at home to Castres Olympique.

Clermont Auvergne: Tries: George Moala, Alex Newsome (2), Daniel Bibi Biziwu. Conversions: Anthony Belleau (4). Penalty: Anthony Belleau.
Edinburgh: Tries: Javan Sebastian, Wes Goosen. Conversion: Tim Swiel. Penalties: Tim Swiel, Cameron Scott.

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Julien Heriteau, 12 George Moala, 11 Thomas Roziere, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Sebastien Bezy, 8 Pita-Gus Sowakula, 7 Peceli Yato, 6 Lucas Dessaigne, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Cristian Ojovan, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Etienne Falgoux. Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Daniel Bibi Biziwu, 18 Henzo Kiteau, 19 Fritz Lee, 20 Killian Tixeront, 21 Baptiste Jauneau, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Pierre Fouyssac.

Edinburgh: 15 Tim Swiel, 14 Harry Paterson, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Cameron Scott, 9 Ben Vellacott, 8 Bill Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Jamie Hodgson, 4 Marshall Sykes, 3 Javan Sebastian, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Robin Hislop. Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Angus Williams, 19 Glen Young, 20 Connor Boyle, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Matt Currie, 23 Wes Goosen