Matthieu Jalibert contributed 20 points from the boot to earn Bordeaux Begles a victory over rivals Clermont Auvergne and see them march into the Top14 semi-final.
Bordeaux lost their last two matches in the Top 14 which denied them a top place finish to the tournament. They did, however do enough to secure a home playoff. Clermont came into the playoff having lost their last three away matches and had an uphill battle to try and claim an upset.
In their previous two clashes this season, only one point had separated Bordeaux and Clermont. The two sides drew 16-16 in January before Bordeaux ran out 37-36 winners two weeks later.
Clermont were the first team to get on the scoresheet through electric winger Damien Penaud. They held a seven-point lead for most of the first half but a series of penalties from Jalibert clawed Bordeaux back into the game.
A try on the stroke of half time for Bordeaux hooker Clement Maynadier was enough to see his side into the shed with a 13-7 lead.
It was mostly one-way traffic in the second half as Jalibert continued to pile on the pressure through four more penalties. Clermont’s Morgan Parra struck back with three penalties of his own but ultimately it was not enough as Bordeaux claimed a 25-16 victory.
Bordeaux will now face Cheslin Kolbe’s Toulouse in the Top 14 semi-final.
Matthieu Jalibert was once again a standout for Bordeaux. His game management and goal-kicking was superb and shows why he has yet to be dislodged as the starting flyhalf for France.