Planet Rugby

Clermont finally reach their goal

29th May 2010 21:36


Clermont at the eleventh

Clermont let out their relief at the final whistle

They finally did it! At the eleventh time of asking, Clermont eked out a win in the final of the French championship, beating Perpignan 16-6.

It was not pretty, but that might crop up as a subject of discussion in the Auvergne hundreds of years from now, buried in drunken bowels of conversations about the night Clermont finally won the title. To the travelling masses from the Massif Central, every minute was that of a taut-nerved thriller.

The label of chokers has so often been pinned on the Clermont jerseys, but this time it will go to the unfortunate Jerome Porical, who missed four out of six shots at goal for his team. On Clermont's side, Morgan Parra was, after one early range-finding miss, unflappable.

He landed his killer blow 19 minutes from the end, a minute after Porical had missed his fourth, taking Clermont ten points clear in a fractured second half from which Perpignan deserved more.

Tensions were in the air right from the opening skirmish, which resulted in a dust-up and a typically blunt dressing down from referee Christophe Berdos. Both sides missed penalties in the opening five minutes, before Parra finally scored the first points of the game in the tenth minute.

Five minutes later, Clermont scored the opening and only try. It was Napolioni Nalaga who scored, after a quick line-out and break by James, who gave to Nalaga who forced his way over the line between the legs of Nicolas Durand, playing his last game for the Catalans.

Parra converted, then landed his second penalty after Porical had made it 10-6 with two of his own.

Porical missed his second of the night just before half-time of a match in which Clermont had enjoyed 65 per cent of the possession but had not really translated enough of it into ploints or opportunities.

The second half was more even as Perpignan dug out a hefty kitchen sink to throw at the Clermont defence, but again Porical let his side down, missing a tough kick just after the break and a sitter near the hour mark.

When Parra slotted his third to take his side two scores ahead, Catalan heads dropped visibly. Anthony Floch landed a drop goal to extend the lead to 13 and take the Clermont fans old and new to a level of emotion and euphoria they had all looked forward to ten times before and all watched on as other groups of fans enjoyed. This time it was theirs.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Pens: Porical 2

For Clermont:
Try: Nalaga
Con: Parra
Pens: Parra 3
Drop goal: Floch

USA Perpignan :15 Jerome Porical, 14 Adrien Planté , 13 David Marty, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Christophe Manas, 10 Nicholas Laharrague/ Gavine Hume, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Jean-Pierre Pérez, 7 Henry Tuilagi, 6 Ovidiu Tonita, 5 Robins Tchale-Watchou, 4 Olivier Olibeau, 3 Nicolas Mas (c), 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Perry Freshwater.
Replacements: 16 Marius Tincu, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Guillaume Vilaceca, 19 Gregory Le Corvec, 20 David Mélé, 21 Nicholas Laharrague/ Philip Burger, 22 Jean-Philippe Grandclaude, 23 Kisi Pulu.

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Napolioni Nalaga, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (cap), 12 Joubert, 11Julien Malzieu , 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire , 5 Thibault Privat, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Benoît Cabello, 17 Davit Zirakashvili, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Alexandre Audebert, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Tasesa Lavea, 22 Gonzalo Canale, 23 Vincent Debaty.

Referee: Christophe Berdos

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
Saturday , November 8
Castres vs Toulon18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Top 14
Sunday , October 12
Toulouse 21 - 10 ToulonToulouse vs Toulon Report
Saturday , October 11
Bordeaux-Begles 59 - 7 CastresBordeaux-Begles vs Castres Report
Montpellier 25 - 9 Oyonnax
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 10 La Rochelle
Stade Francais 23 - 19 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Lyon 24 - 19 Bayonne
Friday , October 10
Grenoble 26 - 25 BriveGrenoble vs Brive Report
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles 51 - 21 Clermont Auvergne
Bayonne 10 - 15 Montpellier
Castres 51 - 10 Grenoble
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
1Clermont Auvergne931
5Stade Francais926