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Clermont surprised Exeter with a vastly improved second-half performance, says head coach Cotter

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 22, 2012

Clermont head coach Vern Cotter

Clermont head coach Vern Cotter

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Clermont Auvergne head coach Vern Cotter said his side's 46-12 victory over Exeter Chiefs will give his side confidence for the rest of their Heineken Cup season.

The French giants endured a tough opening half against the Chiefs before showing their class after the break.

The Aviva Premiership Chiefs worked their way into a 12-10 half-time lead but the French Top 14 side scored 36 unanswered points in the 40 minutes that followed.

The victory at Sandy Park, following on from their demolition of Scarlets last weekend, see them top group five after the first round of fixtures.

Cotter said: "Once we started going forward and completing phases we got confident and we knew that we had to score tries.

"The idea was to get out there and score as many tries as we could and we got there.

"I think it is good for the players to come from a situation and turn the tables just because apply themselves and use their strengths.

"Hopefully it will give us the confidence for the rest of the competition. I think we surprised them.

"They had a yellow card five minutes before the break and we wanted to make the most of that.

"We were a lot different than we were in the first half and they probably got tired.

"I think we bettered them a bit in defence, even though I would have preferred that we bettered them in attack, and we managed to find some space."

When the competition returns in December the Frenchmen have back-to-back games against reigning European champions Leinster – who beat them in last season's semi-final.

Cotter added: "We have got the first part of the Heineken Cup out of the way and next week we go back to Top 14 with a home game against Biarritz.

"We'll just try to work our way through the Top 14 and look to gain Heineken Cup qualification.

"We came very close last year and we would like to come close again, and I think that was the driving factor for us in this game."

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