Planet Rugby

Clermont edge Toulon at the death

10th November 2012 16:12

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Clermont s Australian fly half Brock James C celebrates after scoring a penalty

Clermont hero: Brock James

Brock James kicked a penalty after the final hooter to give Clermont a 24-21 win over Top 14 leaders Toulon on Saturday.

The result sees Clermont claim their 50th consecutive victory on home soil.

A 79th minute drop goal from Jonny Wilkinson had drawn the scores level but James - who had been mostly off colour with the boot during the game - was allowed to win it for the hosts after Matt Giteau was penalised for deliberately throwing the ball into touch.

The win for les Jaunards reduces Toulon's lead to just two points over them in the table. Defending champions Toulouse are third after beating Montpellier 27-9 on Friday.

Wilkinson gave Toulon an early 6-3 lead with two penalties after James had dropped a goal, but blotted his copybook with a missed penalty.

However, the hosts went 10-6 up just after the quarter-of-an-hour mark as Fijian star Napolioni Nalaga went over in the left hand corner for the first try of the match which was converted by James.

Wilkinson too proved to be mortal when in the 27th minute he failed to get enough power on his long range penalty in front of the posts and it dropped just shy.

However, he pulled them to within a point with another penalty, but James restored the four point margin right on half-time with another drop goal.

Clermont pulled further away in the 56th minute as New Zealander Regan King went over for their second try but James, who was having one of his off-days with the boot, failed to land the conversion.

Wilkinson showed James how to do it by landing two penalties in quick succession to leave Toulon trailing by just three points with 13 minutes remaining.

The pressure told on Clermont as with Toulon, prompted brilliantly by former Wallabies fly-half Giteau, all over them veteran centre Aurelien Rougerie was yellow-carded nine minutes from time for handling on the ground.

It was further punished as Wilkinson kicked the resulting penalty to make it all square but with the hosts condemned to finishing the match a man down.

However, James then landed a penalty which was cancelled out by Wilkinson with a drop goal a minute from time after Clermont had given away possession but further drama was to come with Giteau's moment of madness, leaving Rougerie looking much-relieved.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Nalaga, King
Con: James
Pens: James 3
Drop: James
Yellow card: Rougerie

For Toulon:
Pens: Wilkinson 6
Drop: Wilkinson

Clermont:15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Julien Bonnaire, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Jamie Cudmore, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Tii tii Paulo, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Benoit Cabello, 17 Davit Zirakashvili, 18 Elvis Vermeulen, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 David Skrela, 22 Regan King, 23 Adrien Oleon.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matthew Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sebastien Tillous borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Simon Shaw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Nicholas Kennedy, 19 Joe van Niekerk, 20 Geoffroy Messina, 21 Benjamin Lapeyre, 22 Nicolas Durand, 23 Carl Hayman,

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