Unbeaten Racing kill off Tigers
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: A superb first-half performance ensured Racing 92 stayed top of Pool Four with a resounding 34-11 victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Sunday.
First-half tries from Teddy Iribaren, Juan Imhoff and Virimi Vakatawa enabled the visitors to open up a 24-11 interval lead, with Imhoff’s second try at the death securing a try-scoring bonus point for the French club – who conceded only one Tigers try from George Worth before the break.
George Ford gave the English team an early lead, but it was all Racing 92 from then on, with scrumhalf Iribaren crossing for a try after strong work from Racing’s forwards, which Finn Russell converted.
Wing Imhoff then continued his terrific run in Europe, by getting on the end of Simon Zebo’s line break to dot down for the French club’s second try, which was also improved by Russell.
Ford and Russell traded penalties, before Vakatawa capped a comprehensive first-half display for the Parisians by finishing an attack started by Russell inside his own half. The Scottish flyhalf added the extras.
Worth then cut the deficit with a try on 32 minutes, but Russell, who was at his creative best once again, kicked an early penalty in the second half.
Racing notched their fourth – and most crucial – try in the game’s last play via Imhoff and Russell converted to retain his 100 percent record from the tee with 14 points.
Racing will now travel to Belfast in Round Five, to face Ulster Rugby at the Kingspan Stadium on January 12, when Leicester head to Parc y Scarlets.
For Leicester Tigers:
Pens: Ford 2
For Racing 92:
Tries: Iribaren, Imhoff 2, Vakatawa
Cons: Russell 4
Pens: Russell 2
Yellow card: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 59)
Leicester Tigers: 15 Jonah Holmes, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Ben White, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Guy Thompson, 22 Ben Youngs, 23 Gareth Owen.
Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Teddy Iribaren, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Guram Gogichashvili.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Fabien Sanconnie, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Olivier Klemenczak, 23 Ben Volavola.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)