Clermont off the mark in Top 14

Clermont-Auvergne recorded their first win of the new Top 14 season as they edged out hosts Montpellier 26-22 at the Altrad Stadium.

South African lock Paul Willemse scored the game's first try for the home side after nine minutes, but Noa Nakaitaci's converted response for the visitors - after an 80 metre burst - and a further three penalties from Camille Lopez sent Clermont in to the break 16-5 up.

Pierre Spies' five-pointer then brought Jake White's men back into the contest early in the second half, before Fijian flanker Peceli Yato restored his side's cushion in the 68th minute.

And despite Bismarck du Plessis duly becoming Montpellier's third South African try-scorer of the afternoon and Ben Botica landing a late penalty, Clermont hung on for the win.

The result takes Franck Azema's men up to fifth in the table, while last season's European Challenge Cup winners Montpellier are languishing in 12th having been beaten by early pacesetters Toulouse on the opening weekend.

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