European Rugby Champions Cup: Clermont Auvergne 29-9 Toulon
|European Champions Cup|
|Clermont Auvergne (6) 29|
|Tries: Nakaitaci, Penaud Cons: Parra 2 Pens: Parra 4 Drop Goals: Lopez|
|Toulon (6) 9|
|Pens: Halfpenny 3|
Clermont Auvergne maintained hope of a first European Champions Cup success by securing a fine quarter-final win over three-time winners Toulon.
Franck Azema's side scored the first try in the second half with the score at 9-9, Noa Nakaitaci making an overlap count after Remi Lamerat's break.
Camille Lopez fired a drop goal and after a Morgan Parra penalty made it 22-9, Damian Penaud added a late try.
Clermont - twice beaten finalists - will meet Leinster in the last four.
That fixture will take place in Lyon in three weeks' time, while Munster welcome defending champions Saracens to Dublin in the other semi-final.
Of the quartet, only Clermont are yet to win European rugby's most sought-after prize and they looked intent on overcoming a Toulon outfit who beat them in the final in 2013 and 2015.
As number one seeds following an impressive five wins from six matches in the Pool stages, Clermont entered the fixture with a momentum and two early penalty misses by Toulon's returning full-back Leigh Halfpenny helped matters.
Two successful efforts in the first half from the Welshman and two from Parra saw the sides level at 6-6 by the interval, setting up a tense second period at Stade Marcel Michelin.
But Clermont's home support got what they wanted as their side overran their French Top 14 rivals after the break, with Nakaitaci touching down for his fourth try of the tournament, his best return in the competition.
Replacement Penaud raced clear after being released by Nick Abendanon and scrum-half Parra took his tally to 16 points with the conversion.
How they lined up
Clermont Auvergne: Spedding, Nakaitaci, Rougerie, Lamerat, Abendanon, Lopez, Parra, Chaume, Kayser, Zirakashvili, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Chouly, Yato, Lee.
Replacements: Ulugia, Falgoux, Jarvis, Van der Merwe, Cancoriet, Radosavljevic, Fernandez, Penaud.
Toulon: Halfpenny, Mitchell, Bastareaud, Nonu, Habana, Trinh-Duc, Escande, Delboulbes, Guirado, Chilachava, Kruger, Taofifenua, J. Smith, Gill, Vermeulen.
Replacements: Etrillard, Fresia, van der Merwe, Fernandez Lobbe, Belleau, Tuiosva, Tillous-Borde, Manoa.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)