Morné Steyn kicked four penalties as Stade Français beat Clermont 12-6 in the Top 14 final in Paris on Saturday, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
Clermont recently lost the European Champions Cup final to Toulon, so to also fall just short in the domestic competition will hurt.
This match got off to a frenetic start as both sides tried to make early inroads. But while the first half was evenly contested, it was Stade who made the most of their opportunities with three Steyn penalty goals, while Morgan Parra was unsuccessful with his two attempts for Clermont.
Stade lost their way in the second half with Clermont dominating all facets of play, but the Parisians defended valiantly to keep out their resurgent opponents.
Steyn opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Julien Bardy, Clermont's Portugese flank, was sin-binned for foul play. The Bok flyhalf added two more penalty goals to hand his team a nine-point advantage.
Camille Lopez took over the kicking duties from Parra late in the half and nailed his first attempt from the right-hand touchline.
It was a reformed Clermont who took the field in the second stanza. They camped in Stade territory and dominated possession, but again failed to make it count on the scoreboard as repeated handling errors hampered their progress in the red zone.
Clermont's go-to man, Australian flyhalf Brock James, came on for Lopez and had an immediate impact with a penalty goal that made it 9-6.
But, after missing two consecutive attempts at goal, Steyn held his nerve in the final minute to slot the kick that sealed the result and send the Bouclier de Brennus to Paris.
Stade Français – Penalties: Morné Steyn (4).
Clermont – Penalties: Camille Lopez, Brock James.
Stade Français – 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Rémi Bonfils, 1 Heinke van der Merwe
Subs: 16 Laurent Sempéré, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Pascal Papé, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Jérôme Fillol, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 23 Davit Kubriashvili.
Clermont – 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Napolioni Nalaga, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Damien Chouly (c), 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Subs: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Raphaël Chaume, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Brock James, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Clément Ric.
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP Photo