Heineken Cup: Clermont Auvergne cruise into semi-finals
Last Updated: April 6, 2013 6:09pm
Clermont Auvergne ran in five tries as they became the first team into the Heineken Cup semi-finals with a 36-14 win over Montpellier at Stade Marcel Michelin.
Wesley Fofana, Aurelien Rougerie, Siteveni Sivivatu, Lee Byrne and Napolini Vonowale-Nalaga each touched down for Clermont, who came on strong after weathering an early onslaught from Montpellier's pack.
Montpellier scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue kicked three penalties inside the first 24 minutes to put the visitors 9-3 ahead.
But the exit of Paillaugue's half-back partner Francois Trinh-Duc due to injury was followed by a change in fortunes.
Clermont centre Fofana touched down for the opening try on 29 minutes after scrum-half Morgan Parra's chip ahead.
The home side's second try followed four minutes later, Sivivatu making the break before releasing Rougerie for the finish. Parra converted to give Clermont a 15-9 advantage at the break.
Sivivatu did not need any support for Clermont's third try; the former All Blacks wing weaved his way to the line from inside his own half for a wonderful solo effort on 54 minutes.
Late tries from Byrne and Vonowale-Nalaga put the result beyond doubt before Timoci Nagusa went over for Montpellier's only try with the final act of the game.
Clermont's reward is a semi-final against either Harlequins or Munster at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier on April 27.