John Smit’s bad luck in domestic finals continued when Clermont lost 26-20 to Toulouse in the Top 14 final at Stade de France.
Toulouse, who last won the title in 2001, scored two tries through hooker William Servat and fullback Maxime Medard while captain Aurelien Rougerie replied with two tries for Clermont.
The result was heartbreaking for Clermont, who dominated the regular season before sliding to a record eighth final defeat. It was particularly disappointing for Smit, who has lost two Super Rugby finals and two Currie Cup finals with the Sharks.
“We are jinxed,” said Clermont No 8 Elvis Vermeulen. “We gave everything we had but once again we lost.”
Toulouse’s former France skipper Fabien Pelous said: “Clermont wanted to win but so did we because we wanted to end a seven-year title drought and forget our Heineken Cup final defeat to Munster.”
Former All Blacks scrumhalf Byron Kelleher was in tears at the end.
“It’s a great joy which I want to share with my Toulouse family,” he said.