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
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38