herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Clermont gunning for Toulon revenge

Bakkies Botha
Bakkies Botha

European aristocrats Toulon stand on the threshold of an unprecedented third successive continental title tomorrow but in Clermont Auvergne, face a fellow big-budget rival desperate for a first major trophy.

The fifth all-French final since the competition's inception in 1995 - revamped and rebranded as the Champions Cup - may not have been what organisers were hoping for at Twickenham but it undoubtedly pits Europe's two best and most exciting teams in.

The teams sit in the top-two places in France's Top 14, and could meet again to decide the domestic honours.

Clermont, however, will have revenge on their minds.

Toulon beat their Top 14 rivals 16-15 in the 2013 final in Dublin, fighting back from 15-6 down thanks to 11 points from the boot of talisman Jonny Wilkinson.

Toulon got the better of Leinster in an error-strewn semi-final that went to extra time and know they cannot afford to make the sort of errors that epitomised that encounter in soggy Marseille.

"We talked about it for one or two days, intensively, especially our discipline... it was not acceptable against Leinster," said lock Bakkies Botha.

"We can't afford to play the same type of game, discipline-wise, to go into a final and think we are going make it a close game. "

clermont-auvergne v toulon, tomorrrow (ko 5.0) live sky sports 3

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