Saturday 24 February 2018

Wounded Racing lose bruising clash

European Watch

Leicester Tigers' loss to Saracens has seen Richard Cockerill dismissed as director of rugby after six seasons in the role. Photo: PA Wire
Leicester Tigers' loss to Saracens has seen Richard Cockerill dismissed as director of rugby after six seasons in the role. Photo: PA Wire

Declan Rooney

With just one win to their name in their last seven games, a lengthy injury list, and the fallout from Johan Goosen's shock retirement, some evidence points to a Racing 92 side in turmoil. But anyone who watched their clash with Toulon last Sunday saw differently.

The game ended with Racing's sixth away defeat in defence of their Top 14 title, but a spirited display of passionate defending and instinctive counter-attacking almost led them to victory.

Indeed had Dan Carter's 55th-minute conversion of Dmitri Szarzewski's try been rightly awarded, Racing would have had a lead to defend late on, but instead Toulon took victory thanks to Leigh Halfpenny's kicking and Ma'a Nonu's try.

Without a point to their name from three games, Racing 92 are playing for pride tomorrow, and an eagerness to pay respect to Anthony Foley's memory after he passed away before the original game.

On Sunday, we saw a debut handed to academy back-row Matthieu Voisin and tomorrow could well see a few more strange faces line out at Yves Du Manoir, especially considering they are now in eighth place in the Top 14 and face a hectic few months.

In the Pro12, Glasgow Warriors edged a score-fest in Treviso by 35-28 thanks to a late try form Rory Clegg, while Leicester Tigers' defeat to Saracens has seen Richard Cockerill axed as director of rugby after six seasons in charge.

Irish Independent

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