Clermont's Parra defends team-mate Vahaamahina after World Cup red card

Paris (AFP) –


Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra defended his club team-mate Sebastien Vahaamahina on Sunday after the France lock was shown a red card for an elbow in the Rugby World Cup defeat to Wales earlier in the day.

Vahaamahina, who has played at club and international level with Parra since 2014, hit Welsh flanker Aaron Wainwright in the face after 49 minutes of the quarter-final in Oita.

"It was a team-mate of mine who got the red card. We can't blame everything on that," Parra told broadcaster Canal+.

"It's a job done in very difficult conditions," he added.

Wales beat France 20-19 but the French were ahead by nine points when Vahaamahina suffered his rush of blood.

Parra, 30, who was left out of Les Bleus' squad for the World Cup in favour of younger faces, played the full 80 minutes as the central French club beat previously unbeaten Top 14 leaders Lyon 24-18 in heavy rain on Sunday.

Jake McIntyre kicked all the home side's points and the visitors' efforts to maintain their impressive start to the campaign were hampered after Australia flanker Liam Gill was shown a red card in the second-half.

As both sides struggled to keep possession in the wet, Jonathan Wisniewski kicked Lyon ahead three times, only for former Australia Under-20 fly-half McIntyre to reply each time.

The hosts took the lead for first time after 32 minutes. Gill was shown a yellow card for infringing at a ruck and McIntyre slotted his fourth penalty of the match.

Gill's first card proved costly as McIntyre converted his fifth eight minutes later and the home side led 15-9 at the break.

The two outside-halves each kicked a penalty after the break and Clermont had a 18-12 advantage with half an hour to play.

With 22 minutes remaining, Gill, who won the last of his 15 Wallabies caps in 2013, dived off his feet at an attacking Clermont ruck to earn a red card.

- Marvellous McIntyre -

McIntyre, who had missed for the only time in the match a minute earlier, converted this penalty to increase the lead to 21-12.

Despite being down a man Lyon dominated the final quarter and Wisniewski closed the gap to six with less than three minutes to go.

McIntyre then slotted his eighth to make sure of victory. Clermont moved to fourth in the table before a two-week break as the World Cup reaches its climax in Japan.

On Saturday, ex-Fiji winger Timoci Nagusa celebrated his 200th Montpellier game by scoring in a 33-22 victory over champions Toulouse.

Bottom of the table Stade Francais suffered a sixth defeat losing 27-15 to Agen.

Racing 92 are one place above their Parisian rivals after a 12-6 loss at La Rochelle, who moved into fifth after a second straight win.