Planet Rugby

Clermont book ticket to Dublin

27th April 2013 18:51

Share:

Clermont s Napolioni Nalaga scores a try

Scored: Naipolioni Nalaga

Clermont will face either Saracens or Toulon in the Heineken Cup Final after seeing off a spirited Munster outfit 16-10 at Stade de la Mosson.

It was far from a smooth ride for the tournament favourites, who were made to sweat by a Munster side that came agonisingly close to progressing.

As it was, however, les Jaunards deserved their win after a strong first-half showing put them in the driving seat at 13-3 up going into the break.

Sunday's semi-final duo will be encouraged by what they witnessed though as Clermont showed signs of flakiness when the finish line neared.

The first-half was unsurprisingly uncompromising as both packs went head-to-head, but it was Clermont who won the collisions to lead at the break through Napolioni Nalaga's try and two Morgan Parra penalties.

Ronan O'Gara had kicked the visitors into an early lead but they struggled to deal with the power of the Top 14 side.

Munster raised the intensity after the interval and Denis Hurley reduced the deficit, but Parra's third three-pointer was enough to take Auvergne to Dublin.

Despite appearing to be on the decline and residing outside the play-off places in the PRO12, the Irish province shocked Harlequins 18-12 at the Twickenham Stoop in the quarter-finals.

With the inspirational Paul O'Connell back from injury and O'Gara seemingly saving his best for Europe, Rob Penney's men have re-found their resilience and belligerence.

Their forwards were impressive early on, driving Clermont back and allowing the Ireland international fly-half to kick them ahead.

However, it wasn't long before the hosts were asserting their authority and, after a spell of pressure, Nalaga stepped inside and touched down under the posts. Parra added the conversion and then a penalty as Auvergne led 10-3 with just 14 minutes gone.

The French outfit continued to dominate the opening period but a second three-pointer from their half-back was all they had to show for their efforts in the first half.

Although the visitors started the second period well, Vern Cotter's star-studded team were soon moving through the gears again. After Munster had infringed at the breakdown once more, Parra was on target from the tee for the fourth time in the encounter.

But the Irish refused to cede and they gradually got back into the game. O'Gara, directing operations well, produced a neat grubber which Hurley collected for an excellent score. All of a sudden it was Clermont who were struggling but they held out for a spot in the final.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Try: Nalaga
Con: Parra
Pen: Parra 3

For Munster:
Try: Hurley
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara

Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Clement Ric, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22 Jean Marcel Buttin, 23 Noa Nakaitaci.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 , 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Denis Hurley.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615