Clermont won with nothing Sunday night on his lawn against Toulouse (33-30) after a spectacular match, where the visitors, reduced to 13, almost achieved the perfect holdup.
There are posters, classics that have not lost any of their flavor and the Clermont-Toulouse are still the delight of fans of suspense.
After greeting their former president Eric de Cromières, who died last July, the 10,000 spectators at the Michelin stadium were able to witness a superb tussle between the last two finalists of the championship at the end of this first day.
The Asemists took the upper hand in the first act concluded with a good lead (23-5 at halftime).
Even if François Cros countered Camille Lopez and went to the in-goal quarter of an hour of play, the Clermontois reacted thanks to the power of their forwards.
After a penalty, the yellow and blue pack collapsed in the in-goal and collected a penalty try.
The match remained intense throughout, especially on the ground where the battle never weakened.
In numerical superiority, Clermont managed to score again by Camille Lopez on a test in strength.
The first turning point of the match came in the 33rd minute.
On this test of Lopez, the referee Mathieu Raynal noted on the video that Iosefa Tekori was guilty of a nudge on Fritz Lee.
- Test refused for Ntamack -
Despite its consequent delay, the Toulouse Stadium displayed incredible mental resources in the second half.
On a penalty, the flanker Elstadt collapsed after a good effort from the pack and restarted the match.
But the Haut-Garonnais have seen red twice after a dangerous tackle by Richie Arnold on Falatea.
At 13 against 15, they still found the energy to score again on a long streak, again by Elstadt.
The end of the match turned into madness with a magnificent try from Dupont in the 68th and an equally beautiful achievement from Moala for Clermont who came back in front.
Toulouse believed to overturn the match once again but the referee refused Ntamack's try to win for a ground fault.
The French champion benefited from a final penalty after a throw lost by the ASM on the siren but the Rouge et Noir lost the ball.
The Clermontois came close to defeat and Toulouse, which has not won at the Michelin stadium since May 4, 2002, has failed to become the sensation of the day.
Before going to Bayonne, ASM launched its season.
Toulouse brings back the defensive bonus before receiving Stade Rochelais next week for a promising duel.
© 2020 AFP