AURELIEN ROUGERIE BELIEVES Clermont Auvergne should have no regrets after their 19-15 Heineken Cup semi-final defeat to Leinster on Sunday.
Cian Healy’s converted try, together with three Jonathan Sexton penalties and Rob Kearney’s drop goal, sealed a place in the final for Irish club Leinster.
Speaking after the match, Clermont winger Rougerie said Leinster, the defending Heineken Cup champions, were simply too good.
“They were stronger,” Rougerie said. ”They had the psychological edge. They scored early in the second half.
“The wind was blowing in the good way for them, they used it well, they were wide in the pitch. So yes, it was hard to move the ball.”
Rougerie argued his side had done well to get so close to Leinster.
“We try to keep a low profile and concede as least points as we could and play our cards at the end,” he said.
“It was close though. We can have a few regrets after the game.”
Clermont coach Vern Cotter confirmed after the match his players were disappointed to have missed out on what would have been their first appearance in the Heineken Cup final.
“It will take time to move forward,” he said.
“In the next two or three days, we will watch carefully (and) analyse the game before moving on.”
According to Leinster coach Joe Schmidt, a half-time pep talk from Sexton encouraged the visitors to push on in search of victory during the second half at the Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin.
“Johnny Sexton spoke,” he said.
“They called the play that we did straight after half-time and he said ‘let’s do this play, let’s get it dead right and we’ll score from it’.
“So anyone who doubted at half-time was in full agreement with Johnny when he knocked over the conversion to give us a one-point lead.
“We also talked about the scrum and the line-out, making sure we got the ball from those set-phases because we just felt if we got some good-quality ball we could put them under pressure like we had done in the first 15 to 20 minutes.”