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RACING 33 SAINTS 3 Parisian power and controversy in Colombes

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Racing 92 took control of Pool 3 of the Champions Cup in Colombes, propelled by a brutal clan of ball carriers and clinical finishers in a game that hinged on two moments right before half-time.

A pair of early tries were just reward following a bullying period for the hosts, but when Saints had their own squeeze on an interception and then the intervention of referee George Clancy ensured a 21-3 deficit at the break was too much to even begin to overturn.

It leaves the French side a point clear at the top of the table and with a game in hand ahead of the huge re-match at Franklin’s Gardens next Friday evening.

Racing showed early signs of their intentions, Joe Rokocoko and the huge Benjamin Tameifuna making telling bursts and while the Saints did their utmost to square up physically, the hosts’ next visit to the 22 ended with Henry Chavancy crashing over on the right to finish off another bruising set of phases.

It almost became worse, too, Juan Imhoff only denied a breakaway score by Tom Stephenson’s defensive brilliance, but it was to be only brief reprieve. With Tameifuna again to the fore, the blue and white juggernaut blasted it’s way through, Eddy Ben Arous with the final contribution, and Carter clipped over his second conversion to double the lead.

Possession and territory were proving hard to come by, but when a penalty took Saints up to the fringes of the 22, Sam Dickinson made a break of his own to put Racing under pressure, pressure they were only too happy to relieve with the concession of three points to JJ Hanrahan.

It was the fly half’s dummy, surge and offload that again had the Parisians under the cosh, but as the Saints looked set to make the most of men out wide, Brice Dulin chanced his arm and plucked Victor Matfield’s pass from the air. The full back went the length to further compound frustrations that peaked when Luther Burrell was denied what appeared a legitimate try on the stroke of half-time.

Had the centre got the rub of the green and Matfield’s pass gone to hand before that, Saints could feasibly have gone in ahead. Instead, the 14-point swing meant they turned around facing a big deficit and desperately needing to score first after the break.

Unfortunately for them, it was Racing who came out all guns blazing and Tameifuna provided another wrecking ball assist for Dulin’s second - the home side’s bonus point score.

Yet just as they had at the end of the first half, Saints continued to work hard and a series of penalties took them within touching distance of the Racing line. A snaking break from Stephenson had them even closer but, as was the theme of the night, his subsequent burst beside the posts was from a pass deemed forward by referee George Clancy.

Time and again they pressed forward, but when Stephenson lost control of the ball in a borderline spear tackle, the home side turned it on one final time, sweeping upfield where Imhoff helped himself to number five to leave the visitors empty handed in every sense.

TIMELINE
13mins RACING Try Chancy Con Carter 7-0
19mins RACING Try Ben Arous Con Carter 14-0
29mins SAINTS Pen Hanrahan 14-3
36mins RACING Try Dulin Con Carter 21-3
HALF-TIME RACING 21 SAINTS 3
43mins RACING Try Dulin 26-3
74mins RACING Try Imhoff Con Goosen 33-3
FULL-TIME RACING 33 SAINTS 3

RACING 92 Dulin; Rokocoko, Laulala, Chavancy, Imhoff; Carter, Phillips; Ben Arous, Szarzewski (capt), Tameifuna, Charteris, van der Merwe, Lautet, Nyanja, Masoe

Chat, Brugnaut, Gomes Sa, Carriza, Claassen, Goosen, Dumoulin, Machenaud

SAINTS Foden; Elliott, Burrell, Stephenson, North; Hanrahan, Dickson (capt); A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Matfield, Lawes, Harrison, Dickinson

Williams, E Waller, Hill, Day, Gibson, Fotuali’i, Myler, Tuala

HEINEKEN MAN OF THE MATCH Dan Carter

REFEREE George Clancy (IRE)

Match

Racing 92 vs Northampton Saints

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Racing 92 33-3 Saints

Attendance

8,733

Referee

George Clancy

Racing 92
Racing 92
33

Summary

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
3

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints

15

Ben Foden

14

Jamie Elliott

13

Luther Burrell

12

Tom Stephenson

11

George North

10

JJ Hanrahan

9

Lee Dickson

3

Kieran Brookes

4

Michael Paterson

5

Victor Matfield

8

Sam Dickinson

SubsNorthampton Saints

16

Matt Williams

17

Ethan Waller

19

Christian Day

20

Jamie Gibson

21

Kahn Fotuali'i

22

Stephen Myler

Opposition LineupRacing 92

15
Brice Dulin
14
Joe Rokocoko
13
Casey Laulala
12
Henry Chavancy
11
Juan Imhoff
10
Daniel Carter
9
Mike Phillips
1
Eddy Ben Arous
2
Dimitri Szarzewski
3
Ben Tameifuna
4
Luke Charteris
5
Francois Van Der Merwe
6
Wenceslas Lauret
7
Yannick Nyanga
8
Chris Masoe

SubsRacing 92

16
Camille Chat
17
Julien Brugnaut
18
Cedate Gomes Sa
19
Manuel Carizza
20
Antonie Claassen
21
Johan Goosen
22
Alexandre Dumoulin
23
Maxime Machenaud
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Racing 92
Racing 92RAC6411174701042364022
2
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR6411949311291019
Form Guide

Form

LLLLL

Last match

Lost to Harlequins 29-49

Past meeting

Drew 9-9
Full Time
Racing 92
Racing 92
33
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
3