Search

Champions Cup: Saracens 14 Clermont Auvergne 46

PUBLISHED: 19:55 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:55 11 December 2017

Clermont Auvergne fans outside the ground ahead of the rearranged European Champions Cup match against Saracens at Allianz Park (pic Duncan Bech/PA)

Clermont Auvergne fans outside the ground ahead of the rearranged European Champions Cup match against Saracens at Allianz Park (pic Duncan Bech/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Clermont took out their frustration over the chaotic postponement of their Champions Cup clash at Allianz Park by inflicting a record defeat on holders Saracens.

Kick-off was delayed by 26 hours to Monday due to adverse weather conditions, resulting in a furious statement from the French giants who claimed their fans had been treated “as if they were toys” in a “completely absurd” process.

Also tucked away in the lengthy attack on Champions Cup organisers was a vow to take out their frustration on Saracens and this they did in sensational fashion, led by their marauding Fijian wing Alivereti Raka.

Raka wrapped-up his hat-trick inside the opening 25 minutes to capitalise on a feeble defensive display from a team that missed a total of 37 tackles to crash to a sixth successive defeat.

Saracens’ last loss in Europe was against Clermont in the 2015 semi-finals, a run spanning 20 matches, and an alarming night in north London produced possibly the most humiliating experience in continental action.

It was their greatest losing margin in the competition and also marked their highest number of points conceded as they surrendered first place in Pool Two.

Raka ran in the second fastest hat-trick in Europe that began when he powered through Jamie George to touch down in the 13th minute.

Wesley Fofana, Fritz Lee and Scott Spedding burst through the home defence with ease as the prelude to Raka plundering his second try, burrowing over from close range while riding a tackle from George.

By the time Raka completed his hat-trick, Saracens had missed a startling 16 tackles and the Fijian’s third made for the grimmest viewing of all.

Scrum-half Morgan Parra ran flat on to line-out ball and having sped through the first line of black shirts, he found the supporting left wing for a try that was scored far too easily.

Saracens replied with a penalty try awarded from a line-out drive, but when Parra added to his three conversions with a penalty they trailed 24-7 and faced a mountain to climb having proved unable to capitalise on Lee’s sin-binning.

Raka’s spellbinding evening continued five minutes after half-time as he set off from inside his own half, evading four tackles before finally being caught, but he was still able to sling the scoring pass to Flip van der Merwe.

Failed tackles continued to haunt Saracens and this time Juan Figallo and Jackson Wray were at fault as Fofana skipped over for the visitors’ fifth try, before Parra broke the 40-point mark with a penalty.

George Kruis touched down, side-stepping his way over, but Saracens’ nightmare continued when Isaia Toeava helped himself to a simple run-in.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 18:00

Gareth Southgate feels his England players are ready for action after a positive build-up to their World Cup opener.

Yesterday, 16:44

Read our World Cup blog over the coming weeks. Lane Dias reviews the first of three matches on day four

Yesterday, 15:00

Harry Maguire expects the nation to come to a standstill during England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia and insists the team are ready to deliver.

Yesterday, 14:00

Gareth Southgate could pick four players with links to Tottenham Hotspur in defence and it may provide some much-needed sturdiness

Yesterday, 12:00

How many players do you remember from Sir Bobby Robson’s team which captured the hearts of the nation at Italia 90?

Yesterday, 11:00

Danny Rose has described the reaction to his candid revelations about battling depression as “overwhelming” and “emotional”, vowing to help fellow sufferers once he returns from the World Cup.

Yesterday, 09:39

Midfielder Granit Xhaka has signed a new ‘long-term’ contract with Arsenal.

Yesterday, 07:00

Read our World Cup blog which will be featuring over the coming weeks. Lee Power reviews one of the matches on day three of the tournament

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now