Clermont Auvergne overcome Sexton to make it to Champions Cup final

Johnny Sexton ended on the losing side
Johnny Sexton ended on the losing side

Clermont Auvergne 27-22 Leinster, Matmut Stadium de Gerland

Clermont Auvergne came up with a clinical first half performance as they overcame a stern resistance from Leinster to win the European Champions Cup semi-final by 27-22 at Matmut Stadium de Gerland on Sunday.

They will now lock horns with the defending champions Saracens in the final of the tournament at Murrayfield Stadium on 13th May.

The first quarter saw Leinster wing Isa Nacewa sin-binned in the eighth minute while Peceli Yato and David Strettle crossed over for the hosts followed by a conversion and a penalty from Morgan Parra to gain a 15 point lead.

Johnny Sexton provided some respite for Leinster by kicking a penalty at the stroke of half time to reduce the gap to 12 points.

Sexton helped Leinster cover ground at the start of the second half when he kicked three penalties in a span of 10 minutes to bring down the trail to three points.

However, Parra kicked his second penalty followed by a drop goal from Camille Lopez to increase Clermont Auvergne's lead to nine points following which Ireland international Garry Ringrose strolled past the post and Sexton's conversion brought Leinster back in contention again.

Just as the game was heading for a tight finish, Lopez handed Leinster advantage with a penalty and his second drop goal which came in the 71st and 75th minutes respectively to put them ahead by eight points.

Despite, Sexton's fifth penalty that came in the 78th minute, Leinster went on to lose the encounter by five points. This is also the third time Clermont Auvergne have made it to the final of the Champions Cup since 2013.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table