Planet Rugby

Clermont remain untouchable at home

05th January 2013 15:46

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Clermont s winger Sitiveni Sivivatu v Montpellier

Hard battle: Sitiveni Sivivatu offloads

Clermont held onto second place in the Top 14 standings on Saturday with a hard-fought 36-18 win over Montpellier at Parc Des Sports Marcel Michelin.

The result keeps les Jaunards hot on the heals of league leaders Toulon, who host Racing Metro on Sunday, but victory did not come easily against a Montpellier side playing with confidence and ambition.

The win also stretches Clermont's unbeaten record on home soil to 53 games in all competitions.

Clermont led 20-13 at the break thanks largely to centre Wesley Fofana, who scored one try and created another for full-back Jean Marcellin Buttin in reply to Montpellier prop Maximiliano Bustos's score-opening try in the third minute.

Despite starting the second period with 14 men, after Nathan Hines saw yellow for pulling down a maul, the hosts turned the screw after the break with Morgan Parra doing the damage from the kicking tee.

The dominance of the Clermont scrum put the result beyond doubt in the closing minutes as referee Jean-Luc Rebollal punished the visiting front row with a penalty try.

However a late try from Montpellier replacement scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue ensured that a bonus point for victory by three tries was out of reach for Clermont.

Montpellier, who have not won in 12 visits to Clermont and conceded 34 points on average, will remain in the top six regardless of results later on Saturday.

Clermont head coach Vern Cotter wasn't entirely happy with his side's performance, blaming it on a mixture of his rotating the team line-up and their minds being on next weekend's European Cup pool clash with English side Exeter.

"We know that if we beat Exeter we have the possibility of qualifying and maybe even for the first time hosting a quarter-final," said Cotter.

Montpellier coach Fabian Galthie cursed his side's inability to take their scoring chances -especially Bustos Moyano's success rate of 50 percent compared to Parra's 100 percent return - and said their opponents were simply too good.

"Each time they had a chance they took it and up front when they needed to impose themselves they did just that," said the former France captain.

"They are a complete team, they never looked worried, psychologically they never looked to be troubled."

The scorers:

For Clermont:
Tries: Fofana, Buttin, Penalty try
Cons: Parra 3
Pens: Parra 4
Yellow card: Hines

For Montpellier:
Tries: Bustos, Paillaugue
Con: Bustos Moyano
Pens: Bustos Moyano 2
Yellow card: Géli

Clermont: 15 Jean Marcellin Buttin, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Benson Stanley, 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 Julien Pierre, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Benoit Cabello, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Jamie Cudmore, 19 Elvis Vermeulen, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 David Skrela, 22 Regan King, 23 Daniel Kotze.

Montpellier: 15 Pierre Berard, 14 Yohann Artru, 13 Matthew Carraro, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Martin Bustos Moyano, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 John Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Alikisio Fakate, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Erasmus Jansen van vuuren, 1 Yvan Watremez,
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Mickael De marco, 19 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Santiago Fernandez, 22 Thomas Combezou, 23 Barry Faamausili.

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
Saturday , May 3
Toulouse vs Grenoble15:00
Toulon vs Stade Francais15:00
Montpellier vs Racing Metro Paris15:00
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Top 14
Saturday , April 12
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Friday , April 11
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
Saturday , April 5
Oyonnax 26 - 12 Bordeaux-BeglesOyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
Saturday , March 29
Stade Francais 22 - 32 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Oyonnax 40 - 13 Grenoble
More Top 14 results
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Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Montpellier2470
2Toulon2469
3Clermont Auvergne2469
4Racing Metro Paris2465
5Toulouse2462