Tuesday 6 December 2016

Madigan happy with debut after leaving Carter in shade

John Fallon

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

Racing Metro 92 French flanker Wenceslas Lauret misses a ball. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages
Racing Metro 92 French flanker Wenceslas Lauret misses a ball. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages
Bordeaux-Begles' French scrumhalf Baptiste Serin kicks the ball. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages

Ian Madigan said he has plenty to work on in his new career in France but was pleased with the way things went on his Top 14 debut as he steered Bordeaux-Begles to an opening-night win over the reigning champions.

Bordeaux-Begles 15 Racing 92 9

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Madigan received a huge ovation from the home supporters in the crowd of 22,771 after outshooting Dan Carter by five penalties to three, which meant a losing start for Ronan O'Gara's men in the defence of their crown.

Racing Metro 92 New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter is tackled by Bordeaux-Begles' French flanker Loann Goujon. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages
Racing Metro 92 New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter is tackled by Bordeaux-Begles' French flanker Loann Goujon. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages

Madigan's only miss of the night came in the final play from inside his own half as his side wound down the clock.

"It's going to take a little time adjusting to the game here in France and also to the players around you. It's one thing seeing them in training but it's a different thing seeing them going full contact in a competitive game, so I'll learn a lot from this game," he said.

"That's the challenge for me - a new competition, playing in new stadiums against different players. I'm looking forward to it."

Madigan (27) wasn't the only Irishman to make an impressive debut at Stade Chaban-Delmas on as former Clontarf scrum-half James Hart did well partnering Carter for Racing after his move from Grenoble.

Racing Metro 92 French fullback Brice Dulin is tackled. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages
Racing Metro 92 French fullback Brice Dulin is tackled. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/GettyImages

Carter missed his opening kick but the superb condition he is in was apparent when he sprinted back to prevent home winger Nans Ducuing scoring after making an interception in one of the few try-scoring chances of the night.

"He showed some turn of pace to catch our winger," noted Madigan. "He's a class act."

As for the match, Madigan said: "It wasn't a perfect performance - it was never going to be in our first game - but we will look to build on that.

"It was great to get the win because that takes the pressure off us going to Toulouse next week," added Madigan, whose side held on despite having captain Louis-Benoit Madaule red-carded for a tip tackle on Racing full-back Brice Dulin in the closing stages.

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