Late rally sends Racing through
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: Three tries in the final eight minutes helped Racing 92 secure a 39-22 win over Munster in Paris on Sunday.
The four-tries-to-one victory helped secure the Parisians their spot in the quarterfinals.
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Munster dominated the opening 20 minutes and nudged into a 9-0 lead with a trio of successful penalty kicks from JJ Hanrahan.
Racing responded with a Teddy Iribaren penalty kick and got within a point on the half-hour mark with the opening try.
With penalty advantage, Iribaren launched a stunning pass wide right to Teddy Thomas who was able to beat his man and dot down in the corner, but the conversion was missed to keep Munster ahead.
Iribaren would put Racing ahead with a three-pointer on 33 minutes but the momentum swung just before the interval.
Racing looked to be going in for a certain try before Andrew Conway intercepted under pressure and ran the length of the pitch to score a stunning try for the visitors, putting Munster 16-11 up at the break.
Three successful penalty kicks from Iribaren and two from Hanrahan in the second half meant Munster led by two points going into the final 10 minutes, despite plenty of Racing pressure.
However, the French side’s dominance eventually told with three tries in the final eight minutes.
The first came thanks to a delightful cross-field kick with penalty advantage from Finn Russell, allowing the clinical Teddy Thomas to somehow dot down in the corner.
And with just two minutes to play, Virimi Vakatawa started an attacking move with a lovely line break and rounded it off with a step and dummy before strolling through a gap in the Munster line and scoring.
Juan Imhoff added a fourth – bringing up the bonus point – with the clock in the red to nudge the Parisians closer to a home quarter-final.
Racing will travel to face Saracens in Round 6 while Munster host Ospreys needing five points to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Tries: Thomas 2, Vakatawa, Imhoff
Cons: Machenaud 2
Pens: Iribaren 3
Pens: Hanrahan 5
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Boris Palu, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Teddy Baubigny, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Fabien Sanconnie, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Olivier Klemenczak
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 John Ryan, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Dan Goggin, 23 Shane Daly.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
Report by @ChampionsCup
It’s almost like Teddy Iribaren weighs up throwing a conventional pass here and then goes: “Nah, fuck it.” So much sass. pic.twitter.com/n04ndmr7Gf
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) January 12, 2020