NEWCASTLE, England, May 10 (Reuters) - Favourites Clermont Auvergne won a record-equalling third European Challenge Cup when they overwhelmed La Rochelle 36-16 in an all-French final in Newcastle on Friday.
Clermont were on top from kickoff and barely took their foot off the gas as a try by Damian Penault helped them to a 13-6 halftime lead.
When Fritz Lee was shovelled over by a rolling maul for a try brilliantly converted by replacement scrumhalf Greg Laidlaw after an hour it looked all over.
Though prop Uini Atonio scored for La Rochelle, another forward drive opened the way for Wesley Fofana to score Clermont’s third try and take them alongside Harlequins as three-times winners.
The European Champions Cup takes place at the same venue on Saturday when Saracens take on Leinster.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Toby Davis