Clermont will host Leicester in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals after securing a 28-3 victory over Racing Métro in soaking wet conditions at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin on Sunday.
The heavy underfoot conditions meant that Clermont's normal free-flowing style was not an option, but their pack came to the fore in an impressive display of power, dominating their visitors and scoring all four tries.
Clermont led 14-3 at the interval thanks to tries from loose forwards Fritz Lee and Gerhard Vosloo.
Vosloo bagged his second try in the second half before replacement prop Vincent Debaty barged over for the all-important bonus point try.
The home side got off to the perfect start when their pack rumbled over after just five minutes with Lee emerging from the bottom of the pile of bodies.
The heavy rain and the puddles on the pitch didn't prevent Clermont from scoring a classic counter-attacking try, running the ball from inside their own 22. Wesley Fofana found Thomas Domingo is support before Vosloo crashed over in the corner to finish a scintillating move.
The second quarter saw Racing get back into the game with Maxime Machenaud's penalty the only score before the half-time hooter.
It was one-way traffic after the break, but despite Racing conceding three yellow cards in the space of 14 minutes, les Jaunards had to wait until the hour mark for their third try.
It finally came as the 13-man Racing defence buckled and Vosloo muscled his way over for his second try off the side of a powerful maul.
Again it was the big men who did the damage as Debaty charged over from short range after a long period of sustained pressure.
Tries: Lee, Vosloo 2, Debaty
Cons: Delany 4
For Racing Métro:
Yellow cards: Le Roux, Szarzewski, Ducalcon
Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (c), 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Benson Stanley, 23 Jean-Marcellin Buttin.
Racing Métro: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Fabrice Estebanez, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Jone Qovu, 7 Camille Gerondeau, 6 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Karim Ghezal, 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (c), 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Davit Khinchagishvili, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Jacques Cronje, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Laurent Magnaval, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin.
Venue: Parc Des Sports Marcel Michelin
Referee: Greg Garner (Eng)
Assistant referees: Darren Gamage, Nigel Carrick (both Eng)
TMO: Geoff Warren (Eng)