Planet Rugby

Clermont too good for Harlequins

20th October 2013 16:56

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Lee Byrne Clermont v Quins HEC 2013

Opening try: Lee Byrne

Clermont made it 65 games unbeaten at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin after they beat Harlequins 23-16 in Sunday's Heineken Cup meeting.

The hosts scored three tries in the first half though Lee Byrne, Wesley Fofana and Thierry Lacrampe, although Tom Williams' score and two penalties from Ben Botica and Nick Evans kept Quins in the game at the interval.

Brock James then kicked a three-pointer after the break to add to his earlier effort in the opening period, but Evans' late drop-goal gave the visitors a deserved losing bonus-point.

After going down to Racing Metro last week, despite dominating much of the game, the hosts were determined to rectify that result. And they started at pace. James opened the scoring with a penalty before Byrne crossed the whitewash as Vern Cotter's men went 8-0 ahead.

Although Botica reduced the deficit with a three-pointer, another superb move which included the excellent Regan King and Sitiveni Sivivatu ended in Fofana going over.

Evans then kicked his first from the tee to bring the English side to within losing bonus-point territory, but Lacrampe's score eased Auvergne out to a 20-6 lead.

To their credit, Quins fought back just before the break and Mike Brown's off-load sent Williams across the try-line.

James restored Clermont's authority on proceedings early in the second half with a three-pointer and the Top 14 outfit then laid siege to the visiting line in search of the bonus-point.

But once again, Conor O'Shea's side held firm and, in the last minute, Evans dropped a goal to rescue a point for the London-based team.

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Byrne, Fofana, Lacrampe
Con: James
Pen: James 2

For Harlequins:
Try: Williams
Con: Evans
Pen: Botica, Evans
Drop: Evans

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Aurélien Rougerie (capt), 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Brock James, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Gerhard Vosloo, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 Mike Delany, 23 Naipolioni Nalaga.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Ben Botica, 11 Tom Williams, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Sam Smith, 23 Charlie Walker.

Referee: George Clancy

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