Clermont Auvergne beat defending champion Leinster 15-12 in rugby’s Heineken Cup to end the Irish team’s 17-game unbeaten run in Europe’s elite club competition.
All the points came from kicks, Morgan Parra converting four penalties and Brock James having a drop goal for Clermont. Jonathan Sexton got four penalties for the visitors.
Leinster, which won the competition three times in the past four seasons, now trails leader Clermont by five points in Pool 5 following the third round of games. The French team was winning its third straight match.
Also today, Cardiff lost 35-24 to Montpellier, the Welsh club’s third straight defeat in Pool 6. Cardiff was hit by the loss of scrum-half Lloyd Williams, dismissed for a foul tackle on Benoit Paillaugue.
Paillaugue kicked 20 points and Pierre Berard, Mamuka Gorgodze and Timoci Nagusa scored tries for the French team, which moves to second spot in Pool 6, five points behind Toulon.
Leicester beat Treviso 33-25 in Pool 2, to move on to 10 points, three behind leader Toulouse.
Yesterday, Harlequins, Toulouse and Toulon all won to maintain their perfect records. Harlequins routed Zebre 57-14, Toulouse defeated Ospreys 30-14 and Toulon had a 17-6 win over Sale Sharks.
Saracens and Munster lead Pool 1 on 10 points, Harlequins has a six-point advantage over Connacht in Pool 3, and Ulster leads Castres by six points in Pool 4 after three straight wins.
The six pool-winners and two best-placed runners-up qualify for the quarterfinals.
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