The second Top 14 semi-final looked to be heading for extra time as the reliable Morgan Parra had a penalty kick at goal in the final minute of time to level the scores at 15-15. As usual he gave it his all and the ball sailed straight and true towards the three points, but then it died and fell short. Thus it was Toulon who could celebrate reaching the final against Toulouse in Paris next Saturday.
This was another semi which although it was full of passion and power lacked any grace or finesse as two big defences cancelled out what little attacking flair was on show. The first half was the best of the game as at half time the rains came down and meant the wide ball was a lottery which neither team was willing to take on.
Half time and Morgan Parra had kicked two penalties to Jonny’s three and certainly Toulon had looked the more dangerous side with ball in hand so were worth the 6-9 lead.
The second period and as mentioned the weather stopped any creative backs moves though again Jonny playing flat did put his fifteen through a couple of holes which the Clermont defence just managed to shut down but gave away penalties in the process. The game continued therefore to be a tit for tat duel between the on song boots of Jonny and Morgan and 78 minutes Jonny put Toulon ahead only for the forwards to infringe and on 80 minutes give Morgan Parra the chance to take the game into extra time for the second year. The gods were not with him this time and the ball dropped short to make it Toulons day as they won into the final with the final score at:
Clermont 12 – 15 Toulon
Pens: Parra 4
Pens: Wilkinson 5
ASM Clermont: Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bardy, Alexandre Lapandry, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra, Brock James, Sitiveni waica Sivivatu, Wesley Fofana, Aurelien Rougerie, Noa seru Nakaitaci, Jean marcellin Buttin.
Replacements: Tii tii Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Julien Pierre, Elvis Vermeulen, Ludovic Radosavljevic, David Skrela, Lee Byrne, Daniel Kotze
Toulon: Eifion thomas Lewis roberts, Sebastien Bruno, Davit Kubriashvili, John philip Botha, Simon dalton Shaw, Johann Van niekerk, Steffon Armitage, Juan martin Fernandez lobbe, Sebastien Tillous borde, Jonathan Wilkinson, David Smith, Matthew Giteau, Mathieu Bastareaud, Alexis Palisson, Luke Rooney.
Replacements: Jean charles Orioli, Laurent Emmanuelli, Christophe Samson, Pierrick Gunther, Geoffroy Messina, Benjamin Lapeyre, Fabien Cibray, Levan Chilachava.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere
Final: Sat 9 Jun 17:00GMT Toulouse v Toulon Stade de France (ESPN UK)