Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Perpignan captured the famous Brennus Shielf as they beat Clermont 22-13 in the Top 14 final in front of 80 000 fans at the Stade De France in Paris on Saturday.
It was the first time in over fifty years that the Catalans had won the Top 14 championship. For Clermont though, it was yet another moment of heartbreak as they lost their third final in three years, and their tenth in total.
They started well though, with Brock James delivering a pinpoint crosskick for try scoring machine Napolioni Nalaga to gather and dive over. James converted effortlessly from the touchline, giving the blue and yellow supporters plenty to cheer.
Fullback Jerome Porical showed maturity beyond his years as he put in a masterful performance with his goal kicking, as well as playing a hand in Perpignans only try, scored by David Marty.
Porical and Brock James put on impressive kicking displays, but it was the 23 year old Perpignan fullback who made Clermont pay for their indiscretions, claiming 14 points with his four penalties and a conversion.
"We have nothing to apologize for," said a dejected Clermont scrum-half Pierre Mignoni.
"The Catalans were superior and we lost the game in the details. We had been warned, and with our experience we should have done better. I am sorry for our supporters," he added.
To make matters worse, Clermonts Aurelien Rougerie and Julian Bonnaire both picked up injuries, ruling them out of Frances upcoming tour of the Southern Hemisphere.
Frances first tour match is against the All Blacks in Dunedin this Saturday.