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Saracens' Moutitz Botha tackles Clermont's Davit Zirakashvili
Saracens' Moutitz Botha tackles Clermont's Davit Zirakashvili
Image: ©INPHO/Andrew Fosker

Rated: We mark the Clermont and Saracens players out of 10

Leinster will have their work cut out for them when they tackle the French giants in Bordeaux
Apr 8th 2012, 7:22 PM 484 0

CLERMONT

Lee Byrne – 8

Took his try really well as he spotted the potential following Rougerie’s burst. Flawless in the air and a threat all day.

Sitiveni Sivivatu – 7

Some scintillating breaks from the former All Black. Made a huge amount of yards for his side and tackled feverishly.

Aurelien Rougerie – 8

James got the official man of the match but Rougerie gets the nod from me. His gallop was instrumental in the Byrne try and he must have made at least 20 big tackles.

Wesley Fofana – 7

Showed why he is so dangerous with some good side-stepping and snipes up the centre. Backed up Rougerie in the centre.

Julien Malzieu – 6

His team opted to grind out the win so Malzieu had to tow the line and hit his tackle quota. His pace was vital in chasing down the Brock James high balls.

David Skrela – Not on long enough (3 mins) to be rated

Morgan Parra – 7

Some unnecessary theatrics to stray Saracens’ arms but he was pole-axed by Hodgson early on. Kept his team ticking.

Elvis Vermeulen – 6

Was always on the lookout for attacking options and peeled off the back of the back to sent the opposition scrambling.

Alexandre Lapandry – 6

Will be pleased with his contribution. Waded in and took the blows as he forced turnovers and stole a vital ball on 25 minutes.

Julien Bonnaire – 8

Kept popping up all over the pitch. Marshalled the troops and drove them forward. Excellent tackle on Strettle snuffed out a dangerous first half move.

Nathan Hines – 8

Hines will relish facing his old side in the semi-finals and will trouble Brad Thorn and Leo Cullen if he produces the same. Great offload for the try.

Jamie Cudmore – 7

Was perfect foil to Hines and was a fierce tackler. Sapped the strength of the opposition and was replaced with the job pretty much done and 25 minutes left on the clock.

Davit Zirakashvili – 7

Made more line breaks than most of the Saracens’ backs division. Was vital in his team’s grind job in the first half.

Benjamin Kayser – 6

Had one line-out stolen but otherwise competent. Was a willing chaser of the booming James kicks and frequently showed up as a support runner.

Lionel Faure – 7

Dominant front-row and Faure will test the Leinster scrum. Great leg drive when tackled and foraged with zeal for possession.

Replacements:

Ti’i Paulo – 6 (On for Kayser ’59)

Vincent Debaty – 7 (On for Faure ’49)

Daniel Kotze – 7 (On for Zirakashvili ’57)

Julien Pierre – 6 (On for Cudmore ’54)

Julien Bardy – 6 (On for Vermeulen ’54)

Ludovic Radoslavjevic – 6 (On for Parra ’76)

Brock James – 8 (On for Skrela ’3) - Will target revenge against Leinster. Super drop goal and towering up and unders.

Jean-Marcel Buttin

SARACENS

Alex Goode – 7

Did well under the high ball and offered his team an outlet in attack. One of the better Saracens backs.

David Strettle – 6

Good tackles early on as the home side creaked under the pressure. Made a couple of second-half breaks but kept quiet.

Owen Farrell – 5

Slightly harsh on Farrell as he was carrying an injury from 30 minutes on. One excellent penalty but pushed his second attempt wide.

Brad Barritt – 5

Struggled all day with the power of Rougerie and Fofana in the centre. Was needed in defence and had little opportunity in the Clermont half.

Charlie Hodgson – 4

Spilled ball on more than one occasion and kick way possession. Loses marks for his cynical shoulder on Parra.

Richard Wigglesworth – 5

Tough day for Wigglesworth at the side of a retreating scrum. Was called ashore early as Mark McCall tried to freshen up his attack

Ernst Joubert – 5

The scrum struggled from the first whistle and Joubert had a rough outing. Penalties conceded allowed Clermont to pull away.

Will Fraser – 7

Reliable throwing and a game battler for the English side. Made some strong breaks in the second half as his side look for a consolation.

Justin Melck – 5

Conceded a first half penalty and was dominated at the scrum. Ponderous when he had the ball in hand.

Mouritz Botha – 5

The man who had Ireland reeling found a grittier opposition and struggled. Some decent takes in the line-out.

Steve Borthwick (c) – 6

Some good and bad as Borthwick was at the forefront of most Saracens’ drives. Stole one line-out and got his team a penalty but handed one back too.

Matt Stevens – 6

Took greater responsibility as his colleagues struggled and was vital in the pack’s late surge in the first half. Breaks followed by knock-ons in the second.

Schalk Brits  - 7

Was busy for the whole game and constantly offered himself for the ball and for work at the coal-face.

Rhys Gill – 5

Never troubled the Clermont defenders and was bullied off the breakdown ball. A solid season but today was one to forget.

Replacements:

Mako Vunipola – 6 (On for Joubert ’64)

George Kruis – 7 (On for Botha ’54)

Jackson Wray- 6 (On for Melck ’50)

Neil de Kock – 7 (On for Wigglesworth ’54)

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Patrick McCarry

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