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Clermont beat Sarries to make final
18 Apr 2015 19:07
Clermont 13-9 Saracens
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Clermont have edged Saracens 13-9 in their Champions Cup semi-final clash at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard to reach European rugby's premier club final.
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France star Wesley Fofana scored the game's solitary try just after half-time as French heavyweights Clermont prevailed 13-9 to reach their second European final in three seasons.
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Defending champions Toulon or Irish challengers Leinster await them at Twickenham next month - they clash in Marseille on Sunday - but Saracens were left to reflect on what might have been.
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Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell each kicked penalties, while Hodgson also dropped a goal, but Clermont triumphed through Fofana's sweet finish, plus a Brock James conversion and two penalties.
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Clermont did not remotely have things their own way, though, having arrived in the semi-finals following a 37-5 rout of reigning Aviva Premiership champions Northampton a fortnight ago.
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Saracens pushed them every inch of the way, giving as good as they got in all areas of a fiercely-contested encounter, but arguably Clermont's greater big-match European experience told as they avenged last season's 46-6 semi-final Twickenham humiliation.
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It was not pretty, and there was little gilt-edged attacking rugby on show from either team, yet it proved to be absorbing, attritional battle that ultimately went Clermont's way.
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Saracens are now left to focus on domestic matters, and their current form is such that it would be no surprise if they ended the season as Premiership title winners.
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