Top 14
Clermont and Perpignan continue war of words
Ian Moriarty
January 3, 2011
Clermont Auvergne's Jamie Cudmore takes on the Perpignan defence, Clermont Auvergne v Perpignan, Top 14, Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand, France, December 29, 2010
Clermont Auvergne's Jamie Cudmore takes on the Perpignan defence © Getty Images

The fallout from last week's hugely physical encounter between Clermont Auvergne and Perpignan has continued within the pages of the French press.

Clermont vice-president Jean-Marc Lhermet has condemned comments made by Perpignan president Paul Goze in the wake of Les Jaunards' 22-16 victory at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Clermont were incensed that Perpignan backrow forward Henry Tuilagi dodged a citing following an alleged high tackle which hospitalised Aurelien Rougerie.

However, Goze hit back a few days later claiming that Clermont's accusations were "the cries of frightened girls" but not before casting a nasty slur on the town by intimating that Clermont "had moved heaven and earth for the bad Vichy ways."

Speaking to Midi Olympique, Lhermet claimed that Goze's comments were not reflective of the real feelings between the clubs and added that he wished to draw a line under the matter.

"Paul Goze's comments are a reflection of his character: rude and defamatory," said Lhermet. "To allude to the Vichy regime while speaking about Clermont-Ferrand is particulary insulting to the club.

"It's forgotten that Marcel Michelin [the founder of Clermont] was a key member of the resistance during the war. To throw these things around in a public arena is an insult to the memory of a great man, who died in a concentration camp in Buchenwald in 1945."

Meanwhile, Toulon head coach Philippe Saint Andre believes his side are moving in the right direction following their 38-26 defeat of Biarritz at Mayol on Sunday.

"Mission accomplished," Saint Andre told Var Matin. "We still don't fully know how to kill a match off but we showed a lot of intentions. We've got quality players and can play some beautiful rugby. We just have to try to be more efficient. We score four tries and created another three big opportunities."

Toulouse's 23-16 over Castres saw them extend their lead at the top to six points but captain Thierry Dusautoir believes they'll need every point given the difficult calendar that awaits them in the second half of the season.

"Castres are a great team who intended to come here, win and cause us problems," he told La Depeche du Midi. "We've played more matches at home in the first phase [of games before Christmas] but the six point lead in the standings is essential. To have strengthened our first place is precious."

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