Ulster forced to wait for last-eight berth as second-half comeback sees Clermont take win
Ulster will have to wait until next weekend to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup after they lost 29-13 to Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin.
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Second-half tries from Alivereti Raka and George Moala secured the win for the French side, who qualify for the quarter-finals with the four points.
It's the first time Ulster have taken nothing from a game this season and they will now have to beat Bath next weekend in order to reach the knockouts for the second consecutive season.
John Cooney and Camille Lopez had traded points early on, the latter kicking a drop goal, before Cooney went over for another try after some lovely interplay from the Ulster forwards.
Jack McGrath sent Sean Reidy through the gap with the inside ball, with the flanker able to get the offload away to Marty Moore on his outside shoulder and he in turn sent Cooney over the line under pressure from Raka.
Parra reduced the gap to four with his first penalty of the half, however he then saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on on their own line as Ulster tried to score.
However, Ulster couldn't make their man advantage count, and indeed Clermont almost scored with 14 men only for Robert Baloucoune's excellent try-saving tackle.
Back to their full compliment, Parra made it a one-point game with another penalty, but then missed a simple kick early in the second-half that would have put them ahead.
It wasn't to matter though, as the Auvergne side forged ahead for the first time nine minutes into the second half when Raka buried his way over from close range.
Cooney made it a three-point game with another penalty, but Parra and then Greig Laidlaw made it a two-score game when they kicked over a penalty each.
And the result was made safe when Moala thundered over with just four minutes remaining to ensure Ulster will have to beat Bath next week to reach the last-eight.
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