Top 14 Orange - Round 26
Record-breaking Clermont hammer Agen
May 4, 2013
Try time for Clermont Auvergne's Sitiveni Sivivatu © Getty Images
Clermont Auvergne set a new French record with their 60th consecutive victory at their Stade Marcel Michelin home on Saturday.
The Top 14 giants' 67-3 thrashing of Bordeaux-Begles carried them past the previous record held by Stade Francais who went 59 games unbeaten between 2004 and 2008. Les Jaunards, whose last home defeat was to Biarritz on November 21, 2009, ran in nine tries with winger Julien Malzieu and centres Noa Nakaitaci and Benson Stanley leading the way with two tries each.
The result ensured Clermont finished the regular season on top of the table ahead of title rivals Toulon who powered past Agen 43-21 at the Stade Felix Mayol. Winger Alexis Palisson was the star of the show with a hat-trick of tries with No.8 Danie Rossouw weighing in with a brace.
Both Clermont and Toulon were already assured of a place in the semi-finals with the final round of the regular season deciding the line-up for the first round of the play-offs. Toulouse claimed third place with a 57-7 mauling of Grenoble with Yoann Huget crossing for two of their eight tries. The defending champions' reward is a clash with Racing Metro next weekend who edge out Castres 29-28 thanks largely to a late try from replacement Eddy Ben Arous.
Castres remain in the play-off mix and will tackle Montpellier who swept Perpignan aside 50-22 with winger Martin Bustos Moyano bagging a hat-trick. The winners of the Toulouse-Racing Metro clash will play Toulon on May 24 while the winners of the other game will tackle Clermont on the May 25 with both games set to be played in Nantes.
In the day's other games, Biarritz hammered Stade Francais 52-17 and Bayonne claimed a narrow 36-33 victory over basement side Mont de Marsan.
Top 14 Play-offs:
Friday, May 10
Saturday, May 11
Friday, May 24
Saturday, May 25
June 1 - Final, Stade de France, Paris.
Toulon's David Smith celebrates scoring a try against Agen © Getty Images
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