Clermont may boast a star-studded backline but it was their pack that stepped up in the Challenge Cup Final against La Rochelle on Friday.
Clermont claimed their third Challenge Cup title as they went unbeaten during the 2018/19 season beating La Rochelle 36-16 in Newcastle.
The likes of Etienne Falgoux, Rabah Slimani, Benjamin Kayser, Arthur Iturria and Fritz Lee were among the top performers for Clermont who dominated up front, providing their backs with expectional front foot ball to attack from.
Their maul was nothing short of superb while their scrum had the upper hand throughout.
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Morgan Parra opened the scoring with a penalty in the 13th minute of the game before he was forced off with a painful leg injury and was replaced by Greig Laidlaw who extended the lead to 6-0 in the 23rd minute.
Ihaia West got a penalty back for La Rochelle before Damian Penaud found a way through the defence.
West converted a penalty either side of half time before Laidlaw responded with one of his own after the 50th minute and again before the hour mark.
Clermont took control of the game as Lee won a crucial penalty at a ruck before he finished off a stellar 20-metre driving maul in the 60th minute as Clermont lead 26-9.
Uini Atonio gave La Rochelle some hope with a try in the 66th minute but Wesley Fofana quickly responded for Clermont after a powerful driving maul that put his side on the front foot before Lopez stabbed a kick through for the centre who dived on the ball over the line.
Alivereti Raka was sent to the sin bin in the 76th minute for an intentional knockdown but the game was done and dusted by then as Laidlaw converted another penalty just before the final whistle as the game ended 36-16.
❌ 2005— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) May 10, 2019
Benjamin Kayser has finally won the Challenge Cup after falling short in 5 previous finals! 👏 pic.twitter.com/nHIGJ6spkB