Racing Metro 92 fell on a better team than theirs in this third round of HCup (32-8), played for the occasion at stade de La Beaujoire in Nantes. Confronted to the English Harlequins, Ciel et Blanc failed in their quest to victory, falling on a much more successful opponent who heads back to London city with a wise offensive bonus. Francilians are now fourth before traveling to the Quins' den, next week-end. (Credit : Julien Poupart // Attitude Rugby).
Racing Metro 92 had everything in hands to bring up a good performance against a Harlequins team, who lost their two first HCup rounds. Racingmen positioned themselves back on track in TOP 14 with a home win last week-end against a tough challenger for the play-offs spots, Montpellier. The Ciel et Blanc squad also retrieved many of their international players either back from their autumn tests, Jonathan Sexton and Mike Phillips in particular or back from injury such as Juan-martin Hernandez or Brian Mujati.
Unfortunately, it didn’t come out as easy as it seemed at first. At the beginning of the game, francilians and harlequins were both producing quality back-to-back offensive plays. Unfortunately, the last passes where badly negotiated to go all the way down. Despite that, the great public of stade La Beaujoire of Nantes had to wait 20 minutes to see the first points on the scoreboard. From then, Harlequins ruled the game for fifteen minutes by scoring their two first tries of the game. Racingmen had a glimpse of revenge spirit for the last five minutes of the first half, breaking four times the Harlequins defense by the intermediary of center Alexandre Dumoulin. A fighting spirit rewarded by a three point penalty kick on target, scored by fly-half Benjamin Dambielle.
Ciel et Blanc were heading back to their locker-room, losing 17-3. The Second half, unfortunately looked pretty much the same as the first one, with two tries scored by the English side. Racing woke up with a team try scored by Bernard Leroux, just a bit late to chase their opponents back. Racing Metro 92 lost on a heavy score of 32-8 at the final whistle was blown.
From first place before tonight’s game, Racing now slips down to last place as their opponent of the night takes the attacking bonus by having scoring four tries, which permits them to stay in play for the qualifying spots.
The good point from tonight’s match would come from the La Beaujoire stands who turned out to be incredibly cheerful Racing supporters!
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