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Clermont shut out Scarlets

19th January 2013 19:53

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Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie breaks away to set up the first try v Saracens

Fourth try: Aurélien Rougerie

Heineken Cup favourites Clermont put in a dominant performance against the Scarlets in Wales, running in four tries in a 29-0 victory.

Scores from Napolioni Nalaga, Morgan Parra and Benson Stanley handed the French side a 24-0 lead by half-time, with Rougerie's bonus-point try the only points scored by either side during the second half.

Clermont showed flashes of brilliant handling and power as the Scarlets toiled to keep them at bay, but the Welsh side missed a key opportunity for a try of their own when Josh Turnbull knocked on going over the line.

Nalaga burst through for Clermont's opening try after six minutes following great work from Julien Malzieu - smart handling releasing Nalaga into open space.

Parra added a penalty moments later to stretch the lead to 10-0 after ten minutes.

Parra then grabbed a try of his own - intercepting a Scarlets pass off the back of the scrum from Rob McCusker and scampering in untouched.

The visitors' offloading game continued to find space in the Scarlets defence, but a long series of phases inside the hosts territory resulted in a turnover under the posts.

Clermont showed great patience in attack with some outstanding handling from Parra and Skrela, but the Scarlets fought back and held firm until the latter stages of the first half.

After setting up their attack with a maul from a five metre lineout, Benson Stanley latched onto replacement Radoslavjevic's pass to go under the posts and leave the score at 0-24 by half-time.

Former Scarlet Regan King received a warm reception as he replaced Lee Byrne in a scoreless third quarter.

Both teams failed to capitalise on possession throughout the second half until Clermont broke the deadlock on 65 minutes through Aurélien Rougerie, the captain finishing in the left corner after good work from Damien Chouly.

A series of powerful drives from the Scarlets forwards after a break from Adam Warren led to a great opportunity for flanker Josh Turnbull, but the ball was stripped from the flanker's hands in the tackle and Clermont cleared their lines with ten minutes left.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Nalaga, Parra, Stanley, Rougerie
Pen: Parra
Cons: Parra 2, Skrela

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Sione Timani, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Maule, 23 Andy Fenby.

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Julien Malzieu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (c), 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 David Skrela, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 22 Kevin Senio, 23 Regan King.

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Adrian Graves (Scotland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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