Lopez in song to guide Clermont in front of Racing – .

Lopez in song to guide Clermont in front of Racing – .

Paris (AFP)

French opener Camille Lopez hit seven penalties to help Clermont win 26-17 over Racing 92 in the Top 14 on Sunday.

Racing led 10-6 at half-time after Hasane Kolingar’s cross for a try converted by Nolann Le Garrec, who also added a penalty, with Lopez on the mark with his first two three-points.

The second half saw the infallible Lopez, selected 28 times for the Blues, hit five more penalties as well as a try from Fiji-born French winger Alivereti Raka.

Le Garrec scored for his side’s second try at the start of the second period, but it was to no avail that Clermont tightened his defense to secure his first victory against Racing at home in four years.

Lopez said his team’s win was “important” as they looked to revive a sloppy season opener.

“Today we had to score points to get into the championship because we were at the bottom of the standings,” he said.

“The first half was a bit hit and miss and we overplayed things… but we refocused in the second half and were able to achieve an important victory. “

Saturday’s action saw league leaders Toulouse beat Biarritz 17-11, while Bordeaux-Bègles climbed to second place with a 20-15 victory in Lyon.

Brive celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of its stadium by beating last place at Stade Français 19-12 to reach third place.

Last season’s losing finalists La Rochelle continued to stumble, losing 21-11 in Montpellier, and Pau climbed to fifth place with a 29-14 victory in Perpignan.


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