Laidlaw Helps Clermont End La Rochelle's Win Streak

Scottish scrumhalf Greg Laidlaw claimed 18 points as French Top 14 leaders Clermont ended La Rochelle's run of seven straight wins with a five-try, 44-19 victory on Sunday.

Laidlaw scored one of his team's tries and booted two conversions and three penalties -- all in the first half -- as Clermont stretched its unbeaten run in all competitions to three months.

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"We knew that La Rochelle would arrive with very good intentions and it was important to test ourselves," said Clermont coach Franck Azema.

"Our forwards had a great start. We gave away just three penalties -- in terms of discipline, that's a very high level. It's good way to start 2019."

Clermont was rarely threatened on Sunday, racing to a 13-0 lead in just 23 minutes thanks to two penalties from Laidlaw, who also converted his own try.

Former All Blacks back-rower and La Rochelle skipper Victor Vito and replacement winger Geoffrey Doumayrou kept their team in touch either side of a Peceli Yato try on the stroke of half-time.

Clermont made the most of La Rochelle's indiscipline, being awarded a penalty try in the 57th minute for a 30-12 advantage.

All Top 14 scores and standings

In all, the visitors gave up 19 penalties and had three players sent to the sin bin.

George Moala and Tim Nanai-Williams added second-half tries for Clermont as the leaders grabbed a bonus point.

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