Clermont claim crucial bonus
Rougerie grabs fourth try late on as hosts claim crucial bonus point
Last Updated: 14/01/11 11:03pm
Rougerie: scored fourth try
Clermont beat Top 14 rivals Racing Metro 28-17 to move level with leaders Leinster at the top of Pool Two in the Heineken Cup.
The hosts scored four tries at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin to claim what could be a crucial bonus point in the final reckoning of such a tightly-contested group.
Racing, who themselves were still in the qualification hunt before kick-off, had looked on course for victory themselves when they led 10-0 early on.
Argentina international Juan Martin Hernandez kicked an early penalty to break the deadlock and then converted Bernard Le Roux's 15th-minute try.
However Clermont cut the gap before half time with a converted score from Gonzalo Canale and then dominated proceedings after the break.
They grabbed two tries in the space of four minutes to move clear; prop Thomas Domingo getting the first of them before replacement Jason White quickly followed him in over the whitewash.
Fly-half Brock James, who had already added the extras following Canale's first-half score, added both conversions to make it 21-10 to the hosts.
Racing, who had managed not to concede either side of half time when Alvaro Galindo was in the sin-bin, briefly threatened a comeback.
Julien Jane pulled a try back and with Hernandez also knocking over the conversion, the gap was down to four points with 16 minnutes left on the clock.
But Clermont refused to be denied on their own patch, captain Aurelien Rougerie grabbing their fourth try to seal the win and the extra point. Morgan Parra, a second-half substitute, slotted over the conversion with James having left the fray.