Clermont hammer Bayonne to close gap on Toulon
PARIS (AFP) –
Clermont closed the gap on Top 14 leaders Toulon on Sunday with a runaway 48-3 win at home over lowly Bayonne.
Tries from Wesley Fofana (2), Fiji winger Napolioni Nalaga (2), Jean-Marcellin Buttin and Kiwi centre Benson Stanley gave the on-form Auvergne side the full five points, leaving them just two points shy of the Mediterranean side who play later in the day at home to Perpignan.
Bayonne started well and were still level at 0-0 after the first quarter, but a Morgan Parra penalty broke the deadlock and two tries from Fofana after 25 and 31 minutes, both converted by Parra, opened the floodgates.
Clermont were 20-3 ahead at half-time and it was more of the same in the second half as a brace from Nalaga, and tries from Buttin and Stanley rounded off an impressive win.
France international scrum-half Parra was flawless with the boot, kicking all the penalties and conversions that came his way with Butch James and David Skrela stepping in when he went off.
It was a 52nd straight home win for Clermont in the Top 14.
In other games Racing Metro eased their troubles with a 40-6 win over Agen, bottom team Mont-de-Marsan were edged 19-18 at home by Biarritz, while Grenoble defeated Bordeaux 19-9.