Clermont through: Five tries secures spot

 

Clermont Auvergne ran in five tries to secure their place in the knockout stages with a bonus-point victory over Exeter. The French giants led 20-3 at the break thanks to tries from Wesley Fofana and Jean-Marcellin Buttin.

Exeter fought bravely following the restart, but the pressure eventually told and Clermont ruthlessly completed the job with further touchdowns for Damien Chouly, David Skrela, Buttin and Napolioni Nalaga.

The victory, Clermont’s 54th in a row at Stade Marcel Michelin, secures their place in the quarter-finals as Pool Five winners and they can ensure a home draw in their final group-stage match against the Scarlets.

Gareth Steenson had the opportunity to open the scoring after just two minutes at Stade Marcel Michelin but he miscued the simple penalty. He could have made amends minutes late but was again off target as the visitors failed to turn pressure into points. And he was punished for his inaccuracy as Parra opened his account following a Fofana break. The France centre was next on the scoresheet. He launched the attack following Sitiveni Sivivatu’s chip and finished it by collecting Regan King’s inside pass.

Parra made no mistake with the conversion and within a matter minutes the irrepressible hosts grabbed a second try. Nalaga completed the rout at the death from close range.

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