Clermont edge Sarries to reach final

Clermont beat Saracens 13-9 in their European Champions Cup semi-final in Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

Wesley Fofana's 43rd-minute try proved to be decisive as the French club progressed to their second European final in three years.

Clermont should have been awarded an early penalty try when an illegal no-arms tackle from Chris Ashton prevented Naipolioni Nalaga from scoring, but the incident was not referred to the TMO.

Instead, Charlie Hodgson put Saracens into the lead with a drop goal. Brock James and Hodgson then exchanged penalties to make it 6-3 at the break.

Fofana put Clermont in front early in the second half when he collected James's chip kick over the defence.

Owen Farrell's penalty brought Saracens to within one, but James cancelled that out with a 72-minute penalty of his own.

Clermont then wound down the clock with mauls and carries to book their place in the final, against either Toulon or Leinster, at Twickenham on 2 May.

Clermont – Try: Wesley Fofana. Conversion: Brock James. Penalties: James (2).
Saracens – Penalties: Charlie Hodgson, Owen Farrell. Drop goal: Hodgson.

Clermont – 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 8 Damien Chouly (c), 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Subs: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Aurélien Rougerie.

Saracens – 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Subs: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 James Johnston, 19 Kelly Brown, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 David Strettle.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt