Clermont maintained their unbeaten home record thanks to a 42-16 win over Montpellier despite playing with 14 men for nearly an hour.
Clermont maintained their unbeaten home record thanks to a 42-16 win over Montpellier on Saturday despite playing with 14 men for nearly an hour.
The result consolidates Clermont's place at the summit of the Top 14 standings and extends their unbeaten run at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin to 73 matches!
Just hours after France head coach Philippe Saint-AndrÃ© hinted that he was set to recall Morgan Parra to the national team, the scrum-half placed his chances of Six Nations duty in jeopardy by headbutting Rene Ranger and being sent off.
Parra was given his marching orders in the 25th minute (Ranger also saw yellow for the high tackle that sparked the incident) with the scores at 11-6.
Montpellier conspired to negate their numerical advantage however by coughing up three yellow cards in the first half, allowing Clermont to lead 25-6 at the break, thanks to two tries from Lee Byrne and one from Aurelien Rougerie.
Sitiveni Sivivatu extended the lead with a try shortly after the break, taking the scores to 32-6, meaning Clermont only had to defend for the rest of the game.
Montpellier finally made their extra man count as Lucas Dupont scored just after the hour mark, but it was too little, too late.
Clermont made sure of the bonus point when Noa Nakaitaci collected a loose ball after a Brock James up-and-under to race home.
Ranger touched down for a late consolation try, using his pace to burn down the touchline.
More to follow…
Tries:Rougerie, Byrne 2, Sivivatu, Nakaitaci
Cons: James 4
Pens: Parra 2, James
Red card: Parra
Pens: Floch, Escande
Yellow cards: Dupont, Ranger, Trinh-Duc
Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Ti'i Paulo, 1 Raphael Chaume,
Replacements: 16 Benoit Cabello, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Elvis Vermeulen, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Noa Nakaitaci, 22 Jean Marcellin Buttin, 23 Daniel Kotze.
Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 FranÃ§ois Trinh-Duc, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Fred Quercy, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Mickael De Marco, 3 Paea i okalani Faanunu, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Yvan Watremez,
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Thibaut Privat, 19 Robins Tchale Watchou, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Kelian Galletier, 22 Pierre Berard, 23 Bastien le Picaut.
Referee: SÃ©bastien Minery