Tuesday 17 October 2017

Sexton makes little impact as Racing slump

Johnny Sexton in action for Racing Metro
Johnny Sexton in action for Racing Metro

Johnny Sexton cut a frustrated figure as the Ireland out-half had to start Racing Metro's dismal Heineken Cup home defeat to Harlequins on the bench – after which coach Laurent Travers lashed his players, insisting their performance was "just not good enough."

Sexton was sprung from the sideline at half-time – when his side trailed 17-3 – but even his introduction, along with that of new signing Mike Phillips, wasn't enough to save the Paris side, who crashed to a 32-8 loss.

"The performance was just not good enough," Travers said. "Too many players did not play the way we expect and you cannot do that in this competition. We are very disappointed."

Benjamin Dambielle started at out-half for Racing but it was Harlequins pivot Nick Evans who stole the show with his side's opening try in a superb all-round display. The bonus point win lifts Harlequins from bottom of Pool 4 to second, behind leaders Clermont-Auvergne.

"We're not a results-orientated side, we just wanted to put a good performance out on the park," Quins captain Nick Easter said.

"We like to play with intensity and we came close to doing that for the full 80 minutes. But we know how tough this pool is and now we have to back it up next week."

In the Amlin Challenge Cup, London Irish came out on top 24-13 against Stade Francais in the battle of the Pool 5 heavyweights at the Madejski Stadium. A late Alex Lewington try secured the win for Irish to move them five points clear of the French side at the top of pool ahead of Saturday's return match.

Irish Independent

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