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Brive upset Clermont

07th January 2011 21:37

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Clermont brive 2010

Close one: Brive came out on top in the derby du Massif Central

Brive resisted a second-half comeback from Clermont to record an invaluable 29-22 win over the Top 14 champions on Friday.

The relegation-haunted hosts shocked their derby rivals to record their first Top 14 win in almost three months.

Brive, with just three wins all season before the game, were ahead 16-3 at the interval thanks to a helping hand from Clermont's Australian fly-half Brock James.

After missing an early penalty, James had an attempted clearance charged down, tight on his own line, by opposite number Scott Spedding allowing centre Regis Lespinas to the ball and score a 15th-minute try.

James pulled a penalty back for the visitors but Brive took 16-3 lead into the half-time break after Mathieu Belie slotted his second penalty just before the hooter to add to his conversion and Julien Caminati's score opener.

The home side extended their lead early in the second period when Fabrice Estabanez rounded off superbe moved started by Spedding with Lespinas providing the link. Estabanez sprinted away between a line of Clermont defenders left flat-footed by a smart, reverse pass from Lespinas.

Belie's conversion made it 23-8 before Clermont hit back with two tries in 10 minutes.

First, replacement scrum-half Morgan Parra showed quick-thinking by launching a tap penalty crossfield into the grateful arms of waiting centre Julien Malzieu.

Then it was Estabanez's turn to suffer a charge down when his clearance from behind his own line was gobbled up by Clermont number eight Elvis Vermeulen.

James was successful with a simple conversion but Caminati then hit a 63rd-minute penalty to open a 26-15 lead for Brive.

Back came Clermont with a third try in the 66th minute when a James grubber kick left Brive's Ronnie Cooke and Clermont's Gavin Williams tussling for the ball which evaded both men only for South African centre Marius Joubert to claim the try.

James converted to reduce the gap to four points but Caminati had the last say with another penalty to secure a crucial 29-22 win.

Clermont head home with a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: Lespinas, Estabanez
Cons:Belie 2
Pens: Caminati 3, Belie 2

For Clermont:
Tries: Malzieu, Vermeulen, Joubert
Cons: James, Parra
Pens: James

Yellow card: Spedding (Brive - 58th min)

Brive: 15 Julien Caminati, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Regis Lespinas, 12 Fabrice Estabanez, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Scott Spedding, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Antoine Classen (c), 7 Simon Azoulaï, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Arnaud Méla, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Pascal Idieder, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Benoît Cabello, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Damian Browne, 19 Alix Popham, 20 Julien Ledevedec, 21 Agustin Figuerola, 22 Mathias Atayi, 23 Pablo Cardinali.

Clermont: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Gavin Williams, 12 Marius Joubert, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Brock James, 9 Kevin Senio, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Julien Pierre (c), 4 Thibaut Privat, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Lionel Faure.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Loïc Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Audebert, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Benoît Baby, 23 Tasesa Lavea.

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