Damian Penaud punished Bristol Bears’ Siva Naulago for a silly blunder in a throwback to Rob Howley and Clement Poitrenaud as Clermont progressed to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
Penaud finished as the top scorer in the Six Nations this year and hasn’t slowed down, scoring two tries in the 33-26 win over Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate on Friday evening.
Penaud scores twice to sink Bristol
He sped out to the right and through a gap between Kyle Sinckler and Steven Luatua.
😎 Is there a better finisher than Damian Penaud? Silky smooth!pic.twitter.com/MRjLoGQyud
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) March 31, 2023
Penaud is renowned for his ability to spot an opportunity to score and then capitalise on it, often when he has no right to score.
However, often his work rate is understated, but he showed his never say die attitude on Friday.
Clermont whipped the ball wide to their star winger near the halfway line.
With not much else on, Penaud kicked the ball deep into Bristol Bears’ half and charged after it.
Rob Howley-esque from Penaud
With a small in-goal area at Ashton Gate, the ball looked destined to cross the dead ball line.
Naulago certainly thought so and opted to try to shepherd the ball over the line rather than dotting it down for a goal-line dropout or running it out himself.
The result was disastrous for the hosts as Penaud never gave up on the chase. He managed to dive on the ball at the feet of Naulago just before it crossed the dead ball line.
🚨 ROBBERY!! 🚨
Damian 'he had no right to score that' Penaud. AGAIN!pic.twitter.com/8RMfiQ3n94
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) March 31, 2023
Howley collected a bouncing ball from a 22-metre dropout and kicked the ball through near the touchline.
He sped after the ball, much like Penaud, while Toulouse full-back Poitrenaud waited for the ball to cross the try-line.
Before Poitrenaud could collect the ball and dot down, Howley pounced to score in the corner.
A huge blunder in any normal circumstance but on this occasion, it was even worse as it occurred in the final few minutes of the tournament.
The scores were tied at 20 apiece at this stage, and the score secured the win for Wasps, with Mark van Gisbergen adding the conversion to seal the 27-20 win and the Premiership club’s first Champions Cup title.