Thursday 18 October 2018

Key loss for understrength Racing 92

Racing 92's loss against Toulouse leaves the two sides level on 70 points, six points behind leaders Montpellier, with two more rounds of games left (stock picture)
Racing 92's loss against Toulouse leaves the two sides level on 70 points, six points behind leaders Montpellier, with two more rounds of games left (stock picture)

John Fallon

Racing 92 made 12 changes to the side which defeated Toulon for their trip to play Toulouse and paid a big price.

Toulouse wrapped up the issue in the opening half when they built up a 28-6 leading, thanks to tries from Yoann Maestri, Zack Holmes and Maxime Medard, with a couple of penalties from Dan Carter all Racing 92 could muster. It got worse after the restart when Gael Fickou and Thomas Ramos ran in tries for a Toulouse side bidding to nail one of the two semi-final spots.

But Racing 92 managed to rally and tries from Dimitri Szarzewski, Juan Imhoff and Joe Rokocoko in the closing minutes deprived Toulouse of a bonus point - in the Top 14 a team must score three more tries than their opponents to secure a try bonus point. Racing 92 had won 13 of their last 15 games against Toulouse but were blown way in this one.

The result leaves Toulouse and Racing 92 level on 70 points, six points behind leaders Montpellier, with two more rounds of games left.

Every point counts at this stage with just seven points separating Toulon, on 68 points in fourth place, and La Rochelle on 61 points in eighth.

Simon Mannix's Pau, in seventh on 62 points, suffered a shock 22-33 loss at home to Agen which could prove costly to a side with James Coughlan on the coaching ticket and former Munster players Dave Foley, Paddy Butler and Sean Dougall in the squad.

Irish Independent

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