Stormers Disappoint Against Clermont


DHL Stormers made a disappointing Heineken Champions Cup debut losing 24-14 to ASM Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel-Michelin in France.

ASM Clermont Auvergne recovered from an 11-point half-time deficit to beat Heineken Champions Cup debutants DHL Stormers.

Alex Newsome and Alivereti Raka both crossed for second-half tries for the hosts, with 14 points from the boot of Jules Plisson helping the Top 14 side’s cause.

The DHL Stormers enjoyed a strong start and crossed through Springbok utility forward Deon Fourie but were ultimately overpowered after the break.

It was a ferociously competitive and physical contest from the outset, with DHL Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok exchanging early penalty goals with Plisson.

A second three-pointer from Libbok put the DHL Stormers ahead on 21 minutes, and Fourie then bundled over for the South African side’s first ever Heineken Champions Cup try as Clermont were unable to repel a rolling maul.

Libbok was off target with the conversion but Clayton Blommetjies slotted a third penalty goal before the break to see the DHL Stormers take an 11-point lead into the second half.

However, Clermont were a different side following the restart, shifting the ball around with confidence and crossing for their first try of the game on 49 minutes as Newsome finished excellently in the corner.

Plisson converted and then added a penalty goal to move the hosts to within one point, and the Top 14 side would then take the lead on 63 minutes as Raka, a constant threat in the second half, was picked out in space on the left and made no mistake in crashing over the whitewash.

Plisson had the presence of mind to slot a drop-goal and extend Clermont’s lead to seven points on 70 minutes, and his third penalty goal of the game shortly after wrapped up their win and denied DHL Stormers a losing bonus point.

DHL Stormers welcome London Irish to Cape Town in Round 2 in a week’s time, with Clermont away at Leicester Tigers, also on Saturday.


ASM Clermont-Auvergne: Tries: Alex Newsome, Alivereti Raka. Conversion: Jules Plisson. Penalties: Plisson (3). Drop-goal: Plisson.
DHL Stormers: Try: Deon Fourie. Penalties: Manie Libbok (2), Clayton Blommetjies.


Clermont: 15. Alex Newsome, 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Samuel Ezeala, 12. Apisai Naqalevu, 11. Alivereti Raka, 10. Jules Plisson, 9. Sebastien Bezy, 8. Jacobus van Tonder, 7. Alexandre Fischer, 6. Arthur Iturria (c), 5. Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4. Tomas Lavanini, 3. Cristian Ojovan, 2. Yohan Beheregaray, 1. Eitienne Falgoux. Replacements: 16. Benjamin Boudou, 17. Giorgi Beria, 18. Davit Kubriashvili, 19. Thibaud Lenen, 20. Killian Tixeront, 21. Baptiste Jauneau, 22. Anthony Belleau, 23. Chiekh Tiberghien

DHL Stormers: 15. Damian Willemse, 14. Alapati Leuia, 13. Ruhan Nel, 12. Dan du Plessis, 11. Leolin Zas, 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Herschel Jantjies, 8. Hacjivah Dayimani, 7. Ernst van Rhyn, 6. Deon Fourie, 5. Gary Porter, 4. Salmaan Moerat, 3. Neethling Fouche, 2. Joseph Dweba, 1. Steven Kitshoff (c). Replacements: 16. Andre-Hugo Venter, 17. Ali Vermaak, 18. Sazi Sandi, 19. Ben-Jason Dixon, 20. Marcel Theunissen, 21. Junior Pokomela, 22. Paul de Wet, 23. Clayton Blommetjies.