Clermont make it 11th time lucky for first title
Monday 31 May 2010
After 10 defeats in as many finals stretching back to before the Second World War, Clermont Auvergne tasted glory at long last by defeating the holders Perpignan 19-6 to clinch their first French championship title at the Stade de France on Saturday.
"Bloody hell, it was time. We worked so hard," said the Clermont No 8 Elvis Vermeulen, who was a member of the team that lost the last three finals against Stade Français, Toulouse and Perpignan. The Clermont coach, Vern Cotter, his eyes filled with tears, added: "It was three years of sheer frustration, but every year we tried to come back stronger. Full credit to the players. We are going to have a good night."
The game was a rematch of last year's final, won 22-13 by Perpignan. Clermont scored the only try through the Fiji wing Napolioni Nalaga, who charged over like a prop after a ruck on the Perpignan try-line. The scrum-half Morgan Parra contributed three penalties and a conversion and the full-back Anthony Floch added a drop goal.
Perpignan answered with two penalties scored by the full-back Jérôme Porical, who had scored 14 points in a flawless performance last year but also missed three other penalties.
"We can't complain. We didn't manage to develop our game. Clermont were stronger on the day and they deserve their title," said the Perpignan scrum-half Nicolad Durand.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food