Clermont extended their unbeaten record on home soil to 59 games on Saturday with a 39-17 victory over Top 14 champs Toulouse.
Clermont extended their unbeaten record on home soil to 59 games on Saturday with a 39-17 victory over reigning Top 14 champions Toulouse at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin.
Les Jaunards put on an impressive display of force ahead of next week's Heineken Cup showdown with Munster in a highly entertaining game that featured six tries, including two for Clermont wing Sitiveni Sivivatu.
The result secures Clermont direct qualification for the Top14 semi-finals, meaning Toulouse will have to pass through the play-offs if they hope to retain their title.
Clermont's three-and-a-half year home winning streak also equals Stade FranÃ§ais's all-time French record.
With neither side under huge pressure to produce a positive result, the fans at the sold-out stadium were treated to four tries from the hosts and two more from Toulouse.
The highlight of the day however was Clermont's defence in the face of multiple waves of attack from the champs.
It wasn't all good news for Clermont, who lost skipper Aurelien Rougerie to injury after 15 minutes.
Clermont led 25-3 at the end of a catastrophic first half for Toulouse, whose errors cost them dearly despite their territorial domination.
Wesley Fofana gave the hosts a perfect start with a try inside the first minute but Toulouse had the ball for most of the opening 20 minutes.
Quickfire tries from Benson Stanley and Sivivatu around the half-hour mark put Clermont well ahead and Toulouse were forced to fling the ball around in search of an answer.
Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir and the insatiable Louis Picamoles pulled tries back for the visitors after the interval but a handful of penalties from Morgan Parra and Sivivatu's second score from long range in the closing minutes killed off any hopes of a comeback.
Tries: Fofana, Stanley, Sivivatu 2
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 4, Delany
Tries: Dusautoir, Picamoles
Cons: McAlister 2
Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Michael Delany, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Gerhard Vosloo, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements:16 Benoit Cabello, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Julien Bardy, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Jean Marcel Buttin, 22 Benson Stanley, 23 Daniel Kotze.
Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Romain Millo Chlusky, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Vasil Kakovin, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean Batiste Poux.
Replacements:16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Yoann Maestri, 19 Gillian Galan, 20 Jean marc Doussain, 21 Edwin Maka, 22 Yannick Jauzion, 23 Census Johnston.
Venue: Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont Ferrand
Referee: Christophe Berdos