Racing hammer Ospreys after first-minute red card
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Racing 92 continue to set the pace at the top of Pool Four of the European Champions Cup with a 40-19 victory over the winless Ospreys in Swansea.
The home side were up against it from the outset as fullback Dan Evans was sent off after just 37 seconds when he defused a high ball but was adjudged to have kicked out as he landed catching a Racing opponent in the face.
Despite the setback Ospreys hit back for wing Hanno Dirksen to finish strongly wide out and Marty McKenzie converted.
But Racing took charge as a yellow card for Scott Williams gave the visitors fresh impetus and they quickly took advantage as a driving maul allowed hooker Teddy Baubigny to power over.
Two tries in a four-minute spell through wing Teddy Thomas, from a well-judged Finn Russell chip to the corner, and a penalty try which resulted in Aled Davies being yellow-carded saw Racing take charge.
Thomas added his second touchdown on the half-hour after some stunning approach work and with Maxime Machenaud converting Racing led 28-7 at the break.
Replacement Yoan Tanga Mangene and skipper Henry Chavancy added further tries after the break to help the visitors keep control despite a brave response from the Ospreys.
Tongan prop Ma’afu Fia and Davies tries made sure Racing could not afford to relax but they were too strong on the night.
The sides do battle again in Paris next Friday.
Tries: Dirksen, Fia, Davies
Cons: McKenzie 2
For Racing 92:
Tries: Baubigny, Thomas 2, Penalty Try, Tanga, Chavancy
Cons: Machenaud 4
Yellow cards: Scott Williams (Ospreys, 18); Aled Davies (Ospreys 28); Juan Imhoff (Racing, 6); Maxime Machenaud (Racing, 75)
Red card: Dan Evans (Ospreys, 1)
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Ifan Phillips, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Gheorghe Gajion, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Luke Price, 23 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Boris Palu, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Kevin Le Guen, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Ali Oz, 19 Fabien Sanconnie, 20 Yoan Tanga, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Olivier Klemenczak
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Rob O’Sullivan (Ireland), Eddie Hogan O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)