British and Irish Lions Mike Phillips and Jonathan Sexton scored tries as Racing MÃ©tro beat Toulouse 25-5 at the Stade de France.
British and Irish Lions half-back partners Mike Phillips and Jonathan Sexton both scored tries as Racing-MÃ©tro beat a vastly understrength Toulouse side 25-5 at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Opportunistic first-half tries from the Lions duo and two penalties from Sexton saw the hosts race to an 18-0 lead at the interval.
Fellow Lion Jamie Roberts also made an impact as his break set up winger Marc Andreu's try early in the second half.
Toulouse pulled a try back in the dying minutes via Fijian wing Timoci Matanavou to deny Racing a bonus point.
It was a win that Racing joint head coach Laurence Labit had demanded during the week and it lifted them into the sixth and final play-off spot, two points adrift of fourth-placed Toulouse.
Toulouse, meanwhile, face a tough time in the weeks to come as they are bereft of their internationals for the Six Nations and several key players have long-term injuries.
Racing struck early as Jacques Cronje charged down a clearance kick from Lionel Beauxis and Sexton bounced on the loose ball to open the scoring. The Irish fly-half also added the conversion.
The Parisians had their second try by the 15-minute mark after Andreu intercepted a poor pass from Patricio Albacete. Sexton burst down the touchline before chipping ahead for the flying Phillips, who won the race to the whitewash.
Sexton added two penalties to give his side an 18-point lead at half time, despite Toulouse doing most of the playing.
The second half turned out to be a nightmare for the visitors, who coughed up two yellow cards, and they went further behind when Racing ran in their third try in the 45th minute as the excellent Andreu went over after a superb move involving Sexton and Roberts, before the decisive break by Argentinian Juan Imhoff.
Toulouse saved some face with a length-of-the-field try with Hosea Gear offloading to Matanavou to finish off a flowing move. Beauxis – in keeping with his underwhelming performance – failed to convert.
The defeat for Toulouse extended their poor run away from home in the Top 14, which has seen them fail to register a win this season.
Indeed, the last one they recorded was against Racing-Metro on March 30 last year and, with three hard away games to come in the next few weeks, their place in the play-offs is far from guaranteed.
Tries: Sexton, Phillips, Andreu
Cons: Sexton 2
Pens: Sexton 2
Yellow card: Ducalcon
Yellow cards: Tekori, Ferreira
Racing-MÃ©tro: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Dan Lydiate, 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Karim Ghezal, 19 Jone Qovu, 20 Laurent Magnaval, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Brian Mujati.
Toulouse: 15 Jean Pascal Barraque, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Clement Poitrenaud, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Joe Tekori, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo Chlusky, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Christopher Eric Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Edwin Maka, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Sebastien Bezy, 21 Timoci Matanavou, 22 Arthur Bonneval, 23 Census Johnston.
Referee: Cyril Lafon