Clermont vs Toulon
Competition: European Champions Cup
Date: 02 April 2017
Kick-off: 16:15 CET
A fascinating all French affair as the most recent champions from France, and dominators of the competition, Toulon, take on one of the most impressive French sides all season, Clermont – who have been flagging a little lately however.
Toulon are old hands at this tournament and there was a time recently where they won back to back titles and always looked unstoppable in the European and French leagues. Toulon base their success around a recruitment of super stars, a galacticos rugby side, and that still continues today with the world’s best in their side. However, Toulon have not been the same cohesive and destructive unit this year as they have in the past. In the Champions Cup they have struggled against the likes of Saracens and even in France they are not right at the top of the league where they are usually found.
Clermont on the other hand have been at the top of the Top 14 for much of the season, and it is only recently now that they have started falling down the log with a few poor results. Losses to much lower ranked teams and the loss of their French stars to the Six Nations means that Clermont were not at their best, but they will be up for their game against their close rivals. Clermont are a side packed with stars, but more than that they are a better overall team and cohesive unit compared with Toulon and that could well make the difference between these sides. As well as the fact that Clermont are near unstoppable as a team when they are at home.
Clermont vs Toulon: Group stages form
During the group stages there was a time where Clermont looked unstoppable which matched with their Top 14 form. They beat Exeter and Bordeaux before losing away from home to Ulster. They then beat Ulster at home before beating Bordeaux and Exeter again.
Toulon lost to Saracens at home in a shock defeat, but then beat Sale and Scarlets before losing to Scarlets away from home. They beat Sale again, but lost to Sarries again.
Clermont vs Toulon: Prediction
It seems strange to think of not having Toulon in the semifinals, but that seems to be where it is heading as they are not as good as they could be. They also have to travel away from home to Clermont who are too strong at home and will easily put them to the sword.
Clermont vs Toulon: Tips
There are still game breakers in the Toulon side so look for Leigh Halfpenny and Bryan Habana to get on the scorecard.