Ruthless Clermont progress to semi-finals
April 6, 2013
Sitiveni Sivivatu sprints away for Clermont's third try
© Getty Images
Clermont Auvergne eased into the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup thanks to a 36-14 triumph over Montpellier on Saturday.
The hosts ran in five tries, with their opponents' only score coming in the last minute. The visitors led 9-3 thanks to the boot of Benoit Paillaugue, but tries from Wesley Fofana and Aurelien Rougerie put Clermont 15-9 up at the break. And Siteveni Sivivatu, Lee Byrne and Napolini Vonowale-Nalaga all touched down in the second half, with Timoci Nagusa going over for Montpellier at the death.
Montpellier started much the better of the two teams and had established a six-point lead through Paillaugue with 12 minutes left on the clock. But after 26 minutes, the away side's star fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc was forced off through injury and this seemed to take the wind out of their sails.
The impact was fairly sudden with Clermont soon grabbing the first score of the game - it was a wonderful move with Fofana dotting the ball down after he snuffled up Morgan Parra's precise chip through.
And seven minutes later, much to the delight of the Stade Marcel Michelin crowd, Clermont had their second with a stunning break from Sivivatu putting Rougerie over the try line. Clermont had a six-point advantage at the break and they soon extended this in the second 40 with Sivivatu bagging a deserved try thanks to a sensational individual effort.
British & Irish Lion Byrne and barnstorming flyer Nalaga crossed late on to add further gloss to the scoreline. But it was Montpellier who had the final say of the game with Nagusa grabbing a consolation score for the visitors.
Clermont will now face either Harlequins or Munster in the last four - a match that will ironically be played in Montpellier.
© Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter