Preview: La Rochelle v Clermont
Round 8 saves its best for last, concluding with a mouth-watering, top of the table clash as Clermont travel to Stade Marcel-Deflandre where La Rochelle lie in wait.
The hosts, occupying second position on the log, boast five wins from six outings, as do their visitors. La Rochelle’s only loss of the tournament so far came in Round 2, when they were defeated 39-23 at Stade Ernest Wallon by a fiery Toulouse outfit spearheaded by the prodigious skills of Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe.
Clermont’s first and only loss, interestingly, also came in Round 2 in the form of a dramatic upset against Bayonne. The traditionally strong Clermont had been caught completely unawares by an impressive Bayonne unit, the final whistle sounding with the score at 21-19.
Since Round 2, however, both sides have asserted their dominance on the competition with convincing displays, exhibiting great skill in all facets of the game. In Round 7, Clermont finished off Brive 43-21 at Stadium de Toulouse while La Rochelle later brushed Pau aside with a 35-24 victory.
With only a single point separating the teams, there is much to play for and fans can rest assured that some of the finest French rugby will be on display.