For the third time since 1945 Clermont beat Perpignan in Perpignan and this time they thumped them - 39-3, scoring five tries to none, as the Catalan's nightmare of recent weeks continues.
Agen beat them at Stade Aimé Giral and then Toulon smashed them 38-0 in Toulon and now this - the worst of all, beaten by such a score at home where they have always had an invincible air.
The Catalans started well enough and dominated the visitors. They led 3-0 after seven minutes when Jérôme Porical goaled a penalty but if Porical had kicked reasonably well they would have been well on top. He had missed two penalty kicks before he goaled one and then missed two more, none of them difficult. Later in the game his casual defence gave Clermont a try., It was not wonder that when he left the field that his own people jeered - those that were left as the home crowd streamed out as the inevitable became even worse.
The missed kicks did nothing for morale and Clermont got more and more into the game. Their first try was a beauty.
From a scrum on their right near their own 22 they went left and Wesley Fofana cut clean through on a long run. He drew Porical and times a perfect pass to fullback Jean-Marcellin Buttin who scored. 5-3 after 21 minutes.
Six minutes later a tackle penalty gave big David Skrela a chance to find his range. 8-3 to Clermont.
At this stage Perpignan lost scrumhalf Florian Cazenave. His hand had been stamped on but he continued with it strapped. Clearly it affected his handling and experienced David Mélé took his place.
A penalty gave Clermont an attacking line-out but Olivier Olibeau won the ball but with a slap that bounced away from Mélé and into the hands of Nathan Hines who scored. Skrela converted from far out. 15-3 after 32 minutes and the Catalans were done.
Skrela slipped a grubber through. The ball was bouncing towards touch as Porical came casually towards the ball which bounced inside and was grabbed by Kini Murimurivalu who went round under the posts. 22-3 after 37 minutes.
On the stroke of half-time Skrela goaled a second penalty. 25-3.
The second half was full of errors and largely desultory. Perpignan actually got over the line as they mauled a five-metre line-out. But they were held up and then penalised at the subsequent scrum. That was their last chance to score.
Fofana was close for Clermont and Murimurivalu had a strong run. Murimurivalu had a strong hand in his side's next try, again from a scrum, this time on the left. They went wide right where Murimurivalu shook of tacklers and then played inside to substitute Alexandre Lapandry who went over unopposed. 32-3 with 12 minutes to play and the band quiet and the crowd streaming out.
Perpignan did have an attack of sorts but their lone attacker had many yellow jerseys around him.
The final siren was sounding when Clermont scored their last try. Brock James, on for Skrela, kicked a diagonal to the far left where the ball stood up perfectly for Noa Nakaitaci who beat two defenders to score at the posts./ James converted.
Tries: Buttin, Hines, Murimurivalu, Lapandry, Nakaitaci
Cons: Skrela 3, James
Pens: Skrela 2
Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Adrien Planté, 13 Joffrey Michel, 12 Gavin Hume, 11 Julien Candelon, 10 Nicolas Laharrague, 9 Florian Cazenave, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Ovidiu Tonita,, 5 Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, 4 Olivier Olibeau (captain), 3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Perry Freshwater
Replacements: 16 Marius Tincu, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Guillaume Vilaceca, 19 Henry Tuilagi, 20 Bertrand Guiry, 21 David Mélé, 22 Rudi Coetzee, 23 Benoît Bourrust
Clermont: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Kini Murimurivalu, 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 David Skrela, 9 Kevin Senio,, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Lionel Faure, 18 Jason White, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Brock James, 22 Gavin Williams, 23 Danie Kotze
Referee: Franck Maciello
Assistant referees: Stéphane Boyer, Régis Gabard
Television match official: Vincent Azoulay
Assessor: Gaëtan Sanchez
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