Clermont beat Racing in Top 14 Rugby

Top 14 Rugby Champions Clermont showed that they have no plans to surrender the title they fought for so many years to get lightly as they routed bitter rivals Racing-Metro 31-15 in the Top 14 clash to move second ahead of Thursday’s other matches.

Clermont and Racing are both on 49 points, two adrift of leaders Toulouse, who play highflying Montpellier on Thursday.

Both sides have been at each others throats since a controversial play-off victory by Clermont last season and this week’s theatre had seen Racing manager Pierre Berbizier angrily denying a Clermont vice-president’s claims that they were spending more money than they declared in their official records.

Whilst Clermont and Racing presidents Rene Fontes and Jacky Lorenzetti made a very public show of friendship by shaking hands before the whistle, that was as friendly as it got.

Both Racing scrum-half Jerome Fillol and his Clermont counterpart Morgan Parra emerged bloodied after an early tussle but the latter was to have much the better of the legal exchanges which saw his Racing opponent sin-binned later in the match.

Clermont eventually ran out deserved winners scoring three tries through Argentinian Gonzalo Canale, prop Vincent Debaty and Elvis Vermeulen while the indefatigable Parra contributed 16 points with the boot.

Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie said that the players had not been affected by the rows off the pitch.

“It doesn’t concern us, these off the pitch stories,” said the French star.

“We had to come up with a big performance against Racing-Metro.

“We are satisfied to have won but the road is long and we have a lot more things to work on.”

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