Racing too strong for brave Ospreys
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Racing 92 continue to set the pace at the top of Pool Four in the Champions Cup as they saw off a late Ospreys rally to clinch a 40-27 success at the Paris La Défense Arena.
The Paris outfit dominated the first 55 minutes by which time they led 40-5 but a depleted Ospreys side stormed back in great style with four tries in the closing quarter to earn their first point of the campaign.
Wing Lesley Klim notched a brace for the visitors while replacement Luke Price finished off a great break from Tom Williams and there was a stunning solo try from inside his own half by scrum half Shaun Venter after a chip ahead.
Ospreys recovered well from an early scare as the video referee ruled out a try after only 38 seconds for a knock-on in the build-up.
After a spell of pressure the visitors moved the ball well to their left flank and Cai Evans’s precision pass allowed winger Luke Morgan to speed in from 30 metres.
Racing wasted no time in striking back and were level after ten minutes when Henry Chavancy’s pass paved the way for left wing Louis Dupichot to cross.
Opposite wing Juan Imhoff was quickly in the action himself with a brace of tries as first he intercepted Marty McKenzie’s pass to stroll over and then on 25 minutes he combined with Dupichot in centrefield to again add the finishing touch.
Racing notched their bonus point try when scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud offloaded for the supporting Simon Zebo to go over.
Powerhouse efforts by Georges-Henri Colombe and No.8 Yoan Tanga Mangene took Racing further clear in the early stages of the second period and there was no denying their overall dominance despite an impressive fightback from the Welshmen.
Racing now move on to take on Munster in their next Pool Four contest in Paris on Sunday, January 12 while Ospreys play hosts to Saracens the previous day.
For Racing 92:
Tries: Dupichot, Imhoff 2, Zebo, Colombe, Tanga
Cons: Machenaud 5
Tries: Morgan, Klim 2, Price, Venter
Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Yoan Tanga, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 5 Boris Palu, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Georges Henri Colombe, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Joseph, 21 Antoine Gibert, 22 Olivier Klemenczak, 23 Finn Russell.
Ospreys: 15 Cai Evans, 14 Lesley Klim, 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 12 Kieran Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Sam Cross, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Lloyd Ashley, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Guido Volpi, 20 Will Jones, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Luke Price, 23 Tom Williams.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Adam Leal (England), Philip Watters (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)