Clermont Auvergne vs Leinster – European Champions Cup – Semi Final

Both Leinster and Clermont will feel very happy with their results in the last round. Leinster came into the game having thrashed Wasps while Clermont smashed their Top 14 rivals, Toulon. It was set to be a cracker however Clermont had the benefit of some marvellous home support.

Clermont started the fastest. David Strettle’s little chip ahead was pounced on by Pecili Yato. The flanker showed his speed to dive on the ball and start the scoring with a fantastic finish! Morgan Parra converted from outwide and notched a penalty.

Strettle, who had assisted the last try, then got one of his own but this time he recieved the ball and shimmied past Joey Carbery to score. Clermont were running away with it and it was only 13 minutes in. Parra’s conversion missed but him a Johnny Sexton traded penalties to make the halftime score 15-3. Leinster were in need of big second half…

Sexton and Leinster came back out the tunnel all guns blazing. The fly half notched 3 penalties to bring the scores much closer and Leinster very nearly took the lead. Fergus McFadden ran a nice line and found the support through Sexton. The Irish international then foudn Robbie Henshaw who was tackled. Dan Leavy was in support though and he picked the ball up from the tackled man and scored. However Nigel Owens called for the TMO and it was deemed that the try scorer, Leavy, had obstructed Aurelien Rougerie furthermore, opening up the space for McFadden. Parra hit the resulting penalty as well.

Camille Lopez then superbly pushed Clermont further ahead with a sensational drop goal from wide out! Leinster really needed to improve if they were to reach the final.

Leinster had suffered a big blow with the disallowed try and the drop so where in need of a big reply. They certainly got that when Gary Ringrose stepped past 2 defenders, threw a great dummy and paced in from halfway! What a try from the centre! Sexton converted but Lopez struck another penalty.

Next, Lopez struck a blow for Leinster but struck gold for Clermont. Yet again, he sat back in the pocket and disected the posts with a nice drop goal. Sexton did notch a penalty which did make things a bit tenser but it was not enough and it was Clermont who took the win and will play in the European Champions Cup Final against Saracens.Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 20.26.41.png




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