RugbyU: Clermont outclass Montpellier, Saracens down Ulster

Clermont booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Cup on Saturday by dispatching fellow French Top 14 foes Montpellier 36-14, while Saracens also advanced after beating Ulster 27-16.

Clermont will face the winner of Sunday's quarter-final between Harlequins and Munster at Montpellier's Stade de la Mosson on April 27 as they try to go a step further than last year's semi-final defeat to eventual champions Leinster.

Three penalties from the boot of Benoit Paillaugue staked Montpellier to an early 9-3 lead but a first-half ankle injury sustained by fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc derailed the visitors with Wesley Fofana and Aurelien Rougerie touching down in quick succession to push Clermont 15-9 ahead at the break.

A sensational individual try from winger Sitiveni Sivivatu, who eluded five opposing players to cross the line after a 60-metre run, and a subsequent score from Lee Byrne then gave the hosts further breathing space.

Napolioni Nalaga became the fifth Clermont player to notch a try as he went over with five minutes remaining, while a late effort from Montpellier winger Timoci Nagusa gave the scoreline a slightly more respectable look.

Meanwhile, English Premiership pacesetters Saracens brushed aside Irish province Ulster at Twickenham with tries from Will Fraser and Chris Ashton as well as 17 points from England fly-half Owen Farrell.

Ruan Pienaar slotted over three penalties for Ulster, the second of which levelled the scores at 6-6 before Saracens responded with 13 unanswered points, also converting Iain Henderson's late try in a losing cause.

Next up for Saracens will be an April 28 last-four clash at Twickenham against the winner of Sunday's tie between Toulon and Leicester.