The game: 31-27
At the mermaid, the Clermontois managed to recover a defensive bonus thanks to the boot of Morgan Parra, an excellent opener, Saturday evening at Marcel-Deflandre. After having offered on a plateau the test of the offensive bonus to the Rochelais in a burst of guilty generosity, the Auvergne international caught up magnificently in two stages: by a pass with the foot for the test of his winger Rozière (78th) then a transformation from the sidelines, one minute after regulation time, for that of Barraque. The Rochelais, they can bitterly regret the offensive bonus that they did not know how to keep in the last five minutes.
With the support of the wind in the first period, Stade Rochelais abused the balls carried without managing to obtain anything other than a penalty goal scored by Popelin (15th). Very little for an almost total territorial domination. ASM only had two chances and that was enough to lead. Parra scored a goal (21′) and Lavanini scored strongly behind a penalty (31′). The Rochelais, annoyed at being overtaken in this way, returned to the charge and, from penalty to penalty for five minutes after regulation time, besieged the Auvergne in-goal to end up scoring by Paul Boudehent.
The two teams attacked the second period with a score of parity (10-10) and Clermont, wind at their back, returned to the lead thanks to the boot of Parra (48th). But there again, the Rochelais, stung, began to play with their hands, to break through, to chain the playing times and Botia, who entered after the break, dove into the Clermont in-goal. With the transformation of Popelin, La Rochelle rocked in front, 17-13. Clermont suffered, the Rochelais, enterprising, planted two tries in quick succession by Kerr-Barlow (69th) then Berjon (75th), offensive bonus in their pocket.
But it was without counting on the Auvergne reaction. The talent of Morgan Parra found expression in the money-time with a low pass at the foot of the try from Rozière (78th) which deprived La Rochelle, too confident, of their offensive bonus. Then by a difficult transformation, eccentric, which passed between the posts after the test of Barraque (80th + 1), which allowed him to harvest, in extremis, the defensive bonus.
The referee of this meeting, Mr. Nuchy, distributed a single yellow card. To the captain and second-line Clermont Sébastien Vahaamahina, two minutes after the end of the regulation time of the first period.
The player: Morgan Parra, better than an opener
Formed at the opening in juniors in Bourgoin, we had seen Morgan Parra evolve at the opening during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, preferred to Trinh-Duc. In the absence of Lopez, injured, JJ Hanrahan in difficulty and leaving for Wales, the young Gabin Michet still a little too green, the veteran scrum half Morgan Parra is therefore mounted opener. The last time, in the yellow jersey, was in 2016. Saturday evening at Marcel-Deflandre, he was useful and precise, up to the role entrusted to him. He only made one mistake, in the 78th minute, by now wanting the ball in the playing area, giving Les Rochelais their fifth try. But he was able to catch up in the last three minutes to take away their offensive bonus from the Maritimes and offer the defensive bonus to his team.