Bordeaux-Bègles are through to the Champions Cup semi-finals for the first time after the kicking of Matthieu Jalibert secured them a dramatic 24-21 victory against Racing 92 at Stade Chaban-Delmas.
All of the hosts’ points came via Jalibert penalties, with his eighth sealing the win right at the end.
The first half started with Racing’s Camille Chat having to be replaced because of injury, before a Maxime Machenaud penalty and Antoine Gibert drop goal, either side of a reply from Jalibert, gave them a 6-3 lead.
Jalibert registered two more penalties to put Bordeaux 9-6 ahead, then Machenaud scored one and missed another to leave the scores level heading into the interval.
After the break, Machenaud twice edged Racing ahead with further penalties, with Jalibert responding in kind each time. Jalibert’s sixth successful kick came soon after, but he then hit an effort wide and Teddy Iribaren was able to draw things level once more as his penalty made it 18-18.
The same pattern followed as Jalibert put Bordeaux in front again in the 74th minute, before Iribaren made it 21-21 in the 79th.
Jalibert then had the final say, converting from seven metres inside the Bordeaux half to take his personal points tally in this season’s competition to 63 and send his side through to the last four.
Romain Ntamack kicked all of his side’s points as Toulouse beat Clermont Auvergne 21-12 to secure their place in the last four.
Clermont struggled in the absence of their captain, Camille Lopez, who was forced off in the fifth minute with a shoulder injury, with the more disciplined Toulouse side securing a meeting with Bordeaux-Begles in the semi-final.
The match took place in heavy rain, with the kicking of Ntamack guiding his side to victory, scoring seven penalties during the game. His opposite number, Morgan Parra, was also successful with his kicking, with four penalties, but it was not enough to beat Toulouse.
The game itself was evenly matched, with both clubs exchanging penalties until the 62nd minute, when Ntamack kicked his fifth of the match to edge Toulouse in front.
Clermont committed a number of offsides during the game and it was that which allowed the visitors to stretch their lead.
Ntamack secured his side’s victory when he mastered a long-range kick from more than 45 metres out to give Toulouse a nine-point lead with less than 10 minutes left to play.