Wednesday 25 April 2018

Racing recover from a shaky start to book semi-final spot

Clermont 17 Racing92 28

Racing 92's players celebrate after their Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Clermont at the Michelin Stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Racing 92's players celebrate after their Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Clermont at the Michelin Stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Racing 92 recovered from a shaky start to beat Clermont and secure their spot in the last four of the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Racing, who quickly trailed 9-0, prevailed thanks to tries by Leone Nakarawa, Marc Andreu and Boris Palu with Maxime Machenaud adding three penalties and two conversions.

Three-time runners-up Clermont replied with four penalties by Morgan Parra and Peter Betham's try.

Racing will face Munster in Bordeaux on the weekend of April 21/22 for a place in the final.

Clermont opened a 9-0 lead thanks to three penalties by Parra, but Nakarawa reduced the arrears when he dived over after unsettling the hosts' defence with a fine dummy pass.

Machenaud converted and put the visitors ahead with a penalty just after the half-hour, but Racing lost focus.

Parra found space and set up Betham with a long pass for the wing to touch down in the corner.

Machenaud and Parra traded penalties early in the second-half, before Dan Carter's offload was collected by Andreu to score.

Just after the reset, Carter slalomed through the Clermont defence and found Teddy Thomas, who set up Palu for Racing's third try as the hosts looked hapless.

Clermont Auvergne - N Abendanon; P Betham, D Penaud, R Lamerat, R Gross; P Fernandez, M Parra; E Falgoux, B Kayser, R Slimani; A Iturria, S Vahaamahina; P Yato, A Lapandry, F Lee. Reps: C Lopez for Fernandez (71), G Laidlaw for Parra (59), L Uhila for Falgoux (50), D Zirakashvili for Slimani (65), J Ulugia for Vahaamahina (67).

Racing 92 - L Dupichot; T Thomas, V Vakatawa, H Chavancy, M Andreu; P Lambie, M Machenaud; E Ben Arous, C Chat, B Tameifuna, D Ryan, L Nakarawa; W Lauret, B Le Roux, Y Nyanga. Reps: D Carter for Vakatawa (59), J Rokocoko for Chavancy (72), X Chauveau for Machenaud (75), V Kakovin for Ben Arous (50), O Avei for Chat (71), C Gomes Sa for Tameifuna (45), B Chouzenoux for Le Roux (67), B Palu for Nyanga (63).

Ref - Wayne Barnes (England).

Irish Independent

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