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Leinster thrash Racing in Champions Cup

CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster made a statement in their opening Champions Cup game of the season on Saturday as they claimed a 42-10 victory at Racing 92.

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Last season’s beaten finalists ran in six tries in Le Havre, through Josh van der Flier (2), Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Garry Ringrose and Ed Byrne. Racing could only muster a Finn Russell penalty and a late Christian Wade score in response.

Leinster started the game in commanding fashion and were rewarded for their dominance as prop Porter rumbled over following a maul.

Although flyhalf Russell got Racing on the board with a penalty on 24 minutes, the Irish province remained in control, and they were handed a boost as the hosts’ hooker Camille Chat was carded amid a string of offences.

Leinster took full advantage of their extra man as hooker Sheehan was picked out brilliantly by scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park to cross out wide.

They then notched a stunning third score shortly before the interval as a slick move off a line-out saw them race from inside their own half, wing James Lowe streaking through the Racing defence before offloading to centre Ringrose, who had the legs to bundle over.

Leinster continued to control proceedings in the second period and after Racing scrumhalf Nolann Le Garrec was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, they added two more tries to secure the bonus point.

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Flank van der Flier, EPCR European Player of the Year in 2022, and then prop Ed Byrne both crashed over from close range, though Racing would notch a consolation score on 74 minutes as wing Wade crossed out wide.

But Leinster had the final say when van der Flier dotted down for his second and his team’s sixth in the final play of the game, rounding off a superb performance from the United Rugby Championship (URC) leaders.

Leinster welcome Gloucester to RDS Arena in Round Two on Friday, while Racing are away at Harlequins a week on Sunday.

The scorers:

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For Racing 92:
Try: Wade
Con: Russell
Pen: Russell

For Leinster:
Tries: Porter, Sheehan, Ringrose, Van der Flier 2, E Byrne
Cons: R Byrne 4, H Byrne 2

Yellow cards: Camille Chat (Racing, 29′); Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 61′)

Teams:

Racing 92: 15 Max Spring, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Gaël Fickou (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Nolann Le Garrec, 8 Maxime Baudonne, 7 Ibrahim Diallo, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Fabien Sanconnie, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Janick Tarrit, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Anton Bresler, 21 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 22 Antoine Gibert, 23 Olivier Klemenczak.

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jimmy O’Brien, 13 Garry Ringrose (captain), 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Ryan Baird, 5 James Ryan, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Michael Ala’alatoa, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Rónan Kelleher, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Cian Healy, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Jamie Osborne.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: John Meredith (England), Harry Walbaum (England)
TMO: Andrew Jackson (England)

Source: @ChampionsCup 

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