Friday 23 June 2017

Glasgow stun Racing with Paris victory

Racing 92 14 Glasgow 23

Racing Metro 92 French fullback Brice Dulin charges with the ball. Photo: Getty Images
Racing Metro 92 French fullback Brice Dulin charges with the ball. Photo: Getty Images

Stephen Doyle

Glasgow Warriors banished the demons of last season to overcome Racing 92 in Paris. The Scottish side's European Champions Cup quarter-final hopes faded with defeat at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir last season but they are in position to qualify this time around thanks to tries from Alex Dunbar and Ali Price.

Argentina wing Juan Imhoff put the hosts ahead in the opening exchanges before Dan Carter scored late on, but it was not enough to lift Racing off the foot of Pool One ahead of next week's return clash at Scotstoun.

Glasgow warriors Scottish fly-half Finn Russell passes the ball to Tommy Seymour. Photo: Getty Images
Glasgow warriors Scottish fly-half Finn Russell passes the ball to Tommy Seymour. Photo: Getty Images

It took last season's Champions Cup runners-up seven minutes to hit the front after a frantic start. World Rugby Player of the Year Carter fired a long pass to Casey Laulala, who sent Brice Dulin racing away from his own half.

The full-back combined with Joe Rokocoko, who powered towards the line; he was brought down, but the ball was worked back to the blindside, where Imhoff dotted down at the corner for his second try in as many Champions Cup matches.

Glasgow earned a penalty just inside the Racing 22 metre line moments after the restart, and Finn Russell got his side on the scoreboard. He added another penalty to cut the gap to a single point, and it was to get even better when Dunbar raced in for a try after half-an-hour.

Russell took the ball at first receiver and sent his centre crashing through a hole in the French defence to score, with the in-form fly-half adding the conversion for a 13-7 lead.

Racing Metro 92 wing Juan Imhoff scores a try. Photo: Getty Images
Racing Metro 92 wing Juan Imhoff scores a try. Photo: Getty Images

Jonny Gray then secured a vital turnover to help his side secure their advantage at half-time.

Gregor Townsend's team-talk clearly had a positive effect on his players as they raced out of the blocks to take control in Paris. Russell was at the heart of things again as he was brought down just short of the Racing line, but his half-back partner Price spotted a gap and sniped in to score at the base of the posts on 42 minutes.

The conversion was added by Russell to give Glasgow a 20-7 lead. Ryan Wilson then got his hands on the ball at a ruck to earn Townsend's men a crucial penalty deep in Racing territory. Russell made no mistake to put his side 16 points ahead with just 15 minutes remaining.

Carter then danced through the Warriors defence to score, before converting to bring his to within nine points, but it was too little, too late and Glasgow look set to fight it out with Munster for top spot.

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