Clermont’s rout of Montauban all in vain

CLERMONT AUVERGNE saw their faint Heineken Cup hopes extinguished despite a comprehensive bonus point victory against Montauban in the all-French Pool One clash at Stade Marcel Michelin last night.

The powerful French side had been relying on a Sale Sharks win in Thomond Park to continue their interest in the competition, but their hopes were dashed with Munster’s bonus point win against the English side.

It was however, an entertaining night nonetheless for their supporters, with the home side crossing the whitewash no fewer than seven times.

Montauban arrived at Stade Marcel Michelin in the hope of a second successive victory there having beaten the home side at the venue in the French Championship last October.

But it was Clermont who dominated from the off, led magnificently by their captain and man of the match Pierre Mignoni.

Montauban were gutsy but the writing was on the wall from as early as the second minute, when centre Gonzalo Canale sent French international Julien Malzieu over in the corner for a well-taken try.

The home side doubled their tally ten minutes later after some a bulldozing charge from the Clermont pack, and a brilliant flick pass from veteran Argentine Mario Ledesma sent second row Loic Jacquet in from close range.

Petre Mitu kicked his side’s only points of the first half with a penalty after 23 minutes.

Mignoni effectively put his side out of sight just before half time with a try in the corner after a five-metre scrum. Brock James however, who had a poor first half with his boot, missed all three first-half conversions to leave the half-time score at 15-3 to Les Avergnats.

The second half was more of the same and Clermont collected the all-important bonus point on 50 minutes when Alexandre Audebert went over.

Mignoni popped up with his second of the evening on the hour before substitutes Thomas Domingo and John Senio added their sides’ sixth and seventh tries.

Montauban refused to give up however, and substitute Johan Dalla Riva grabbed a consolation try two minutes before the end.

Clermont Auvergne scorers: Mignoni 2 tries; Malzieu, Jacquet, Audebert, Domingo, Senio try each; James 4 cons.

Montauban scorers: Dalla Riva try; Laharrague con; Mitu pen.

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE: B Baby; A Rougerie (capt). G Canale, P Garcia , J Malzieu; B James, P Mignoni; L Emmanuelli, M Ledesma, M Scelzo, J Pierre, L Jacquet, J Bonnaire, A Audebert, E Vermeulen

Replacements: A Floch for Canale (16), W Fofana for B Baby (45),T Domingo for M Scelzo (55), T Privat for Jacquet (65), M Lozupone for Ledesma (62), E Etien for Bonnaire (69), J Senio for Mignoni (62).

MONTAUBAN: J Laharrague; A Figueiredo, S Paku, R Jahouer, J Cassin; R Lespinas, P Mitu; L Delboulbes, G Shvelidze, B Sa, M Rolland (capt), R Frost, M Clarkin, A Boutaty, F Soldan.

Replacements: G Parriel for Delboubes (52), N Adams for Sa (62), S Murray for Rolland (62), K Ghezal for Soldan (51), J Dalla Riva for Laharrague (67), F Fortassin, F Culinat for Mitu (70)

Yellow Card: Nick Adams, 75 mins

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

EDINBURGH overcame the concession of two first-half breakaway tries to Castres’ Romain Terrain and Iosefa Tekori to record a 32-14 victory over the French side and boost their hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon in Leinster’s Pool Two. Ben Cairns, Phil Godman, Ross Ford and Andy Kelly all crossed for tries in the Murrayfield win.

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courtsrugbyplace: thomond parkplace: stade marcel michelinplace: italyplace: castres’place: murrayfieldperson: pierre mignoniperson: gonzalo canaleperson: julien malzieuperson: mario ledesmaperson: loic jacquetperson: petre mituperson: mignoniperson: brock jamesperson: alexandre audebertperson: thomas domingoperson: john senioperson: montaubanperson: johan dalla rivaperson: malzieuperson: jacquetperson: audebertperson: domingoperson: senioperson: jamesperson: dalla rivaperson: mituperson: g canaleperson: p garciaperson: j malzieuperson: p mignoniperson: l emmanuelliperson: m ledesmaperson: m scelzoperson: j pierreperson: l jacquetperson: j bonnaireperson: e vermeulenperson: canaleperson: w fofanaperson: b babyperson: mperson: scelzoperson: privatperson: ledesmaperson: e etienperson: bonnaireperson: j senioperson: j laharragueperson: a figueiredoperson: s pakuperson: r jahouerperson: j cassinperson: r lespinasperson: p mituperson: l delboulbesperson: g shvelidzeperson: b saperson: m rollandperson: r frostperson: m clarkinperson: a boutatyperson: f soldanperson: g parrielperson: delboubesperson: n adamsperson: saperson: s murrayperson: rollandperson: k ghezalperson: soldanperson: j dalla rivaperson: laharragueperson: f fortassinperson: f culinatperson: nick adamsperson: carlo damascoperson: romain terrainperson: iosefa tekoriperson: ben cairnsperson: phil godmanperson: ross fordperson: andy kellyevent: heineken cupevent: french championshiporganisation: clermontorganisation: montaubanorganisation: sale sharksorganisation: munsterorganisation: les avergnatsorganisation: clermont auvergneorganisation: leinster
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