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French wingers nearly cough up guaranteed try in Top 14 victory

BY Stephen Brunsdon  ·  Tuesday Oct 26, 2021

Clermont Auvergne wingers Alivereti Raka and Damian Penaud racked up three tries between them in their side’s 42-20 victory over Pau in the Top 14 last weekend, but they very nearly spurned the latter’s score in comical fashion.

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It’s not uncommon to see some players hand their team-mates a try once over the line, normally because the player giving the pass has either scored already or that the recipient of the try has done most of the leg-work in the build-up.

In this case, it was neither. Except for an apparent moment of madness from Penaud who had himself done all the hard work in breaking clear of the Pau defence to score a well-worked try.

What happened thereafter was that Penaud attempted to pass the ball to Raka who had run a support line, but the Fiji-born French international was definitely not keen to take the ball from his team-mate in the in-goal area.

What could have transcended into disaster and, even worse, ultimate embarrassment, actually turned out okay in the end.

Clermont have endured something of a patchy start to the new Top 14 season, uncharacteristically slipping to four defeats in the opening eight matches, including a rare one at home to Castres.

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Since then, things have looked more positive for Clermont, and the recent five-try demolition at the Marcel Michelin will do their recovery towards the top four no harm at all.

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