Racing 92 stays at 100 percent
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Racing 92 sit top of Pool Four after a pulsating 36-26 bonus-point victory over Leicester Tigers in Paris.
The match started with some stunning running from Racing and they won a penalty that was booted towards the corner.
From the resulting line-out, the play was spread and reached Virimi Vakatawa dived over for the first try, with Finn Russell slotting the conversion.
Racing again spread the ball wide minutes later, after Matt Toomua slipped at a crucial time, allowing the French side to create the overlap, finding the dynamic Juan Imhoff who jogged towards the corner for a simple score.
Leicester finally won some possession in the Racing 22 on 15 minutes, driving an excellent scrum, with the ball finding Jonah Holmes who beat his man and sauntered over the try line. George Ford added the extras.
A stunning offload from Finn Russell to Simon Zebo opened up a hole for Racing’s third try, after some powerful work from Leone Nakarawa. Russell – who created the try – slotted over the conversion.
Barely 30 minutes were on the clock when Racing added a bonus point try.
Nakarawa fought his way past several Leicester men, driving Racing up to the posts before a simple off-load to Baptiste Chouzenoux, who dotted down with ease.
A nice drive from Leicester took them close to Racing’s try line, before No.8 Sione Kalamafoni cheekily dived over two Racing men at the breakdown, touching down for a second score for the visitors and a sixth try of a pulsating first half.
In the second half, further tries were added by Leicester’s Manu Tuilagi and Adam Thompstone as well as Racing wing Olivier Klemenczak in a scrappier 40 minutes.
The two sides will clash again next weekend at Welford Road, with Racing 92 looking to make it four wins from as many Heineken Champions Cup matches this season.
A breath-taking display in Paris but it’s Racing 92 who take the victory 🇫🇷
Leicester Tigers fought to the very end and would not lie down in an end-to-end battle 👊
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 9, 2018
For Racing 92:
Tries: Vakatawa, Imhoff, Zebo, Chouzenoux, Klemenczak
Cons: Russell 4
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Holmes, Kalafamoni, Tuilagi, Thompstone
Cons: Ford 2, To’omua
Yellow cards: Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 7), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 47)
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Simon Zebo, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Olivier Klemenczak, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (captain), 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Boris Palu, 21 Antoine Gibert, 22 Louis Dupichot, 23 Ben Volavola.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Jonah Holmes, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Ben White, 8 Sione Kalafamoni, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Harry Wells, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Will Evans, 21 Guy Thompson, 22 Ben Youngs, 23 Matt Smith.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)