James' last-minute drop crowns Clermont fightback

Australian fly-half Brock James kicked a last-minute drop goal as Clermont overcame a 12-point half-time deficit to beat Stade Francais 28-25 and move into second spot in the French Top 14 on Friday.

Clermont's Australian fly-half Brock James kicks during their French Top 14 rugby union match against Stade Francais at Marcel Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, central France. Clermont won 28-25.

James, a second-half replacement for David Skrela, kept his composure after Australian compatriot Paul Warwick had failed to clear for Stade.

It was James' second drop-goal of the half as Clermont took their unbeaten home run to 47 matches, a record which stretches back to November 2009.

"We lost it right at the end," said Stade skipper Pascal Pape. "But Brock James is Brock James and he killed us in the second half."

It was hard going for Clermont who trailed 22-10 at the interval after being rocked by three tries -- from Wawrick in the first minute and a double from Fiji winger Waisea Vuidravuwalu before the 30-minute mark.

Prop Thomas Domingo had scored Clermont's only try after nine minutes, converted by scrum-half Morgan Parra who ended the match with 17 points thanks largely to five second-half penalties.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency