Heineken Cup: Clermont Auvergne shine in second half to crush Exeter
Last Updated: 20/10/12 9:46pm
Damien Chouly of Clermont Auvergne hands off Matt Jess
Clermont Auvergne ripped Exeter apart in the second half to set up a 46-12 victory and hoist themselves to the top of Pool Five in the Heineken Cup.
The hosts were more than a match for last season's semi-finalists in the first half and looked comfortable with a 12-10 advantage at half-time thanks mainly to four Gareth Steenson penalties.
A Napolioni Nalaga try and the kicking of Morgan Parra were occasional bright sparks for the visitors, but few would have expected the capitulation after the break.
Five minutes into the second half a Parra penalty and a controversial Wesley Fofana score - video replays showed there was a foot in touch after a Tom Johnson half-tackle - had the French heavyweights leading again.
Wales full-back Lee Byrne set up flanker Julien Bonnaire to touch down for a 25-12 lead, but the Chiefs raised their tempo and battled for everything.
Yet Clermont responded in the most clinical fashion as they hunted a try-scoring bonus point in the final 10 minutes.
New Zealand international wing Sitiveni Sivivatu and Fofana scored tries to leave Exeter on the rack.
Just before the whistle Exeter's replacement fly-half Ignacio Mieres was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on.
From the tap penalty Nalaga went over for his second try with Skrela adding the extras to pile on the misery for Exeter.
Heineken Cup week two
Sky Bet's rugby expert assesses the market ahead of the second round of the Heineken Cup.
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