Clermont outmuscle Saracens in Heineken Cup

Clermont made it into the last eight of the Heineken Cup (with matches to come) with a 14-24 beating of Saracens at Vicarage Road on Friday.


Clermont’s victory has put the pressure on Ulster who now have to beat Aironi if they are to qualify.

Clermont signalled their intent in North London early on, powering their way
forward at every opportunity.

First they attacked down the blind then hit up through midfield, Wesley Fofana
bursting through to score.

Full-back Anthony Floch had no problems with the conversion from in front of
the posts.

It took Saracens a while to warm up, but their pack edged them back into the
game and Owen Farrell kept the scoreboard ticking with two penalties.

Clermont’s early dominance faded as Saracens worked hard for territory and
possession. They were rewarded for their efforts with a moment of magic from
hooker Schalk Brits who drew the defence and then offloaded to England wing
Strettle who glided into score.

Just three minutes later Clermont regained the lead. Wing Kini Murimurivalu
and Floch combining in attack to take their side to within five metres of the
line before support arrived in the form of Willie Wepener who crashed over to
score.

All the possession in the opening ten minutes of the second period belonged
to Saracens, but they couldn’t make their advantage pay, Farrell missing two
shots at goal before success in the second half, Saracens re-taking the lead
after 53 minutes.

Lavea crossed for Clermont’s third try after a powerful scrum and he converted
his own score to give his side a 19-14 advantage. Ti’i Paulo got Clermont’s
fourth and the bonus-point late on.

Final Score Saracens 14 (11) Clermont Auvergne 24 (12)


Scorers


Saracens
Tries: Strettle
Penalties: Farrell 3


Clermont Auvergne
Tries: Fofana, Wepener, Lavea, Paulo
Conversions: Floch, Lavea


Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)


Teams


Saracens: C Wyles, D Strettle, B Barritt, N Mordt, N Cato, O Farrell, N de Kock, R Gill, S Brits, C Nieto, H Smith, M Botha, K Brown, J Melck, E Joubert [capt].


Replacements: J George, J Saunders , P Du Plessis, J Burger, A Saull, R Wigglesworth, L Baldwin, J Short


ASM Clermont Auvergne: A Floch, B Russell, M Joubert, W Fofana, K Murimurivalu, T Lavea, K Senio, L Faure, W Wepener, V Debaty, L Jacquet, J White, J Bardy, AAudebert, E Vermeulen [capt]


Replacements: T Paulo, T Domingo, C Ric, T Privat, A Lapandry, L Radoslavjevic , A Rougerie, J Buttin

With thanks to ERCRugby.

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