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Top 14 Orange - Round 26
Record-breaking Clermont hammer Agen
ESPN Staff
May 4, 2013
Try time for Clermont's Sitiveni Sivivatu, Clermont Auvergne v Bordeaux-Begles, Top 14, Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand, May 4, 2013
Try time for Clermont Auvergne's Sitiveni Sivivatu © Getty Images
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Clermont Auvergne set a new French record with their 60th consecutive victory at their Stade Marcel Michelin home on Saturday.

The Top 14 giants' 67-3 thrashing of Bordeaux-Begles carried them past the previous record held by Stade Francais who went 59 games unbeaten between 2004 and 2008. Les Jaunards, whose last home defeat was to Biarritz on November 21, 2009, ran in nine tries with winger Julien Malzieu and centres Noa Nakaitaci and Benson Stanley leading the way with two tries each.

The result ensured Clermont finished the regular season on top of the table ahead of title rivals Toulon who powered past Agen 43-21 at the Stade Felix Mayol. Winger Alexis Palisson was the star of the show with a hat-trick of tries with No.8 Danie Rossouw weighing in with a brace.

Both Clermont and Toulon were already assured of a place in the semi-finals with the final round of the regular season deciding the line-up for the first round of the play-offs. Toulouse claimed third place with a 57-7 mauling of Grenoble with Yoann Huget crossing for two of their eight tries. The defending champions' reward is a clash with Racing Metro next weekend who edge out Castres 29-28 thanks largely to a late try from replacement Eddy Ben Arous.

Castres remain in the play-off mix and will tackle Montpellier who swept Perpignan aside 50-22 with winger Martin Bustos Moyano bagging a hat-trick. The winners of the Toulouse-Racing Metro clash will play Toulon on May 24 while the winners of the other game will tackle Clermont on the May 25 with both games set to be played in Nantes.

In the day's other games, Biarritz hammered Stade Francais 52-17 and Bayonne claimed a narrow 36-33 victory over basement side Mont de Marsan.

Top 14 Play-offs:

Friday, May 10
Toulouse v Racing Metro

Saturday, May 11
Castres v Montpellier

Friday, May 24
Semi-final: Toulon v Toulouse or Racing Metro

Saturday, May 25
Semi-final: Clermont Auvergne v Castres or Montpellier

June 1 - Final, Stade de France, Paris.

Toulon's David Smith celebrates scoring a try against Agen © Getty Images
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Pos Team P W D L F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Clermont Auvergne 26 19 1 6 779 418 +361 81 32 8 5 91
2 Toulon 26 18 1 7 779 456 +323 69 33 11 5 90
3 Toulouse 26 17 0 9 702 501 +201 67 37 7 4 79
4 Castres 26 15 2 9 599 489 +110 49 33 4 6 74
5 Montpellier 26 16 0 10 570 520 +50 52 38 5 4 73
6 Racing Metro 26 16 0 10 512 431 +81 32 28 2 7 73
7 Perpignan 26 13 0 13 593 607 -14 50 48 2 7 61
8 Bayonne 26 12 1 13 467 609 -142 32 54 1 6 57
9 Biarritz 26 12 1 13 505 540 -35 36 40 2 5 57
10 Stade Français 26 12 1 13 578 691 -113 42 60 2 2 54
11 Grenoble 26 12 0 14 480 606 -126 37 60 1 5 54
12 Bordeaux Begles 26 8 1 17 561 584 -23 51 44 4 9 47
13 Agen 26 6 0 20 423 709 -286 33 67 0 7 31
14 Mont-de-Marsan 26 2 0 24 374 761 -387 22 79 1 7 16

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