Alex Newsome and Alivereti Raka both crossed for second-half tries for the hosts, with 14 points from the boot of Jules Plisson helping the Top 14 side’s cause.

The DHL Stormers enjoyed a strong start and crossed through Springbok utility forward Deon Fourie but were ultimately overpowered after the break.

It was a ferociously competitive and physical contest from the outset, with DHL Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok exchanging early penalty goals with Plisson.

A second three-pointer from Libbok put the DHL Stormers ahead on 21 minutes, and Fourie then bundled over for the South African side’s first ever Heineken Champions Cup try as Clermont were unable to repel a rolling maul.

Libbok was off target with the conversion but Clayton Blommetjies slotted a third penalty goal before the break to see the DHL Stormers take an 11-point lead into the second half.

However, Clermont were a different side following the restart, shifting the ball around with confidence and crossing for their first try of the game on 49 minutes as Newsome finished excellently in the corner.

Plisson converted and then added a penalty goal to move the hosts to within one point, and the Top 14 side would then take the lead on 63 minutes as Raka, a constant threat in the second half, was picked out in space on the left and made no mistake in crashing over the whitewash.

Plisson had the presence of mind to slot a drop-goal and extend Clermont’s lead to seven points on 70 minutes, and his third penalty goal of the game shortly after wrapped up their win and denied DHL Stormers a losing bonus point.

DHL Stormers welcome London Irish to Cape Town in Round 2 in a week’s time, with Clermont away at Leicester Tigers, also on Saturday.


ASM Clermont-Auvergne 24 (3) - Tries: Alex Newsome, Alivereti Raka. Conversion: Jules Plisson. Penalty goals: Plisson (3). Drop-goal: Plisson.

DHL Stormers 14 (14) - Try: Deon Fourie. Penalty goals: Manie Libbok (2), Clayton Blommetjies.