"The whole point of rugby is that it is, first and foremost, a state of mind, a spirit" – Jean-Pierre Rives

Home | About Us | Contact Details | Sitemap  | Links 
French Rugby Club
Latest News
Editor's Blog
Top 14
2010/11 News
2010/11 Results
2010/11 Fixtures
2010/11 Table
2010/11 Top scorers
2010/11 Transfers
Ollie Phillips
Joe El-Abd
Paul Dearlove
Harry Spencer New
Pro D2
2010/11 News
2010/11 Top scorers
2010/11 Transfers
2010/11 Table
Heineken Cup
2010/11 News
2010/11 Fixtures, Results & Tables
Amlin Challenge Cup
2010/11 News
2010/11 Results & Tables
2010/11 International News
Club Guide





Top 14, r20: Clermont beat Toulon 19-12, but Barthélémy's late try earns crucial bonus

04 March 2011

Clermont Auvergne and France scrum-half Morgan Parra
Clermont's French international
Morgan Parra scored 14 points
Photo: Eoin Morgan/Cleva media

Clermont Auvergne 19 (12)
Toulon 12

A last-minute try from 21-year-old Romain Barthélémy earned Toulon what could prove a crucial losing bonus as they went down 19-12 at Clermont Auvergne on Friday.

The late score was just reward for the visitors' efforts, with Philippe Saint-André's side outscoring their hosts by two tries to one as they enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half. 

Top 14 League Table

Toulon had arrived chastened after their 23-13 away loss at SU Agen (in round 19) and missing fly-half Jonny Wilkinson (away with England), and their woes deepened as Morgan Parra landed an early penalty and drop-goal to put Clermont 6-0 up.

'Les Jaunards' went into the game with four of their five French internationals in their starting XV and boasting an unbeaten home record in all competitions dating back to November 2009.

But despite their early lead there was clearly tension throughout both sides as they re-enacted last season's dramatic play-off semi-final. It was Clermont who notably triumphed on that occasion, after extra-time, and Michelin-backed club was victorious again on Friday as they continually punished Toulon for their accumulating misdemeanours.

Toulon did have opportunities to strike back themselves, but stand-in fly half Felipe Contepomi displayed understandable rustiness in his first match back from injury and missed all three of his attempted kicks at goal, including a touchline conversion following the 16th-minute try from inside centre Fotu Auelua.

That score brought Toulon back to within a point of their hosts, but they were back down to 12-5 behind at the interval after Parra two more penalties for Vern Cotter's team.

Both sides also lost a player to the sin-bin as the simmering tensions finally saw the ref produce yellow cards for Julien Malzieu and Jean-Philippe Genevois after 30 minutes.

Toulon attempted to seize the initiative after the restart but it was Clermont who scored next as Julien Bonnaire touched down on 63 minutes against the run of the play. Parra's conversion lifted the home side 19-5 clear and it remained like that until the dying seconds when Barthélémy's late score enabled fellow substitute Benjamin Lapeyre to kick the conversion which clinched a losing bonus.

Leading try and point-scorers in Top 14


Clermont had already withstood a 10-minute barrage while a man down after feisty Canadian lock Jamie Cudmore was sin-binned for taking out Matt Henjak. Henjak was on as a replacement scrum-half for Toulon at the time, but he was forced off shortly after as he nursed an ankle injury, leaving the ever-versatile Australian George Smith to fill in at No 9 again.

The home side did have the chance to deny Toulon their bonus point right on the siren, but full-back Benoît baby failed with his hurried drop-goal attempt. The defending champions won't be overly concerned with that as they continue to get the results required at the business end of the season, and in turn extending their unbeaten home run to 24 matches.

Toulon, by contrast, had to be content with a spirited team performance but only one point - not the ideal scenario in the ever tightening race to secure a play-off spot. Their latest defeat was their sixth in seven away games, so they will be cheered by the fact four of their remaining six matches are at home.

Round 20 Preview

  Clermont Auvergne Toulon
Tries Bonnaire Auelua, Barthélémy
Conversions Parra Lapeyre
Penalties Parra (3) -
Drop-goals Parra -
Yellow Cards Malzieu, Cudmore Genevois


Home | About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Details | Sitemap  | Links 

© Copyright FrenchRugbyClub.com. All rights reserved.