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Clermont hold off Harlequins to reach Challenge Cup final

Clermont Auvergne held off a Harlequins fightback to triumph 32-27 and set up an all-French final against La Rochelle in the European Challenge Cup.

The Top 14 side led 32-8 after 55 minutes of the game at Stade Marcel-Michelin, Morgan Parra kicking his fourth penalty to put his side in complete control.

The scrum-half had also been on target with both conversion attempts following first-half tries from Fritz Lee and Damian Penaud, the pair touching down in an impressive four-minute spell for Clermont.

Yet Quins, who saw Mike Brown ride a tackle to reach the line just before the interval, rallied impressively to make for a nervy finish.

Chris Robshaw forced his way over and after adding the extras, Marcus Smith used his boot to good effect again with a grubber that bounced kindly for James Lang to finish.

Alex Dombrandt closed the gap further as Quins capitalised on a line-out opportunity to touch down again, yet the Premiership club ran out of time to complete their recovery mission. 

After surviving a late scare, Clermont can now look forward to taking on La Rochelle – who defeated Sale Sharks in the first semi-final – for the trophy at St James’ Park on May 10.

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