French champions Perpignan scored their first win of the New Year with a 31-12 victory over Racing Metro at Stade AimÃ© Giral on Friday.
French champions Perpignan scored their first win of the New Year with a 31-12 bonus-point victory over Racing Metro at Stade AimÃ© Giral on Friday.
While most of Europe was tucked away indoor to escape the freezing cold, the Catalans warmed their frigid season up with a five-try romp over their visitors from Paris.
The violently strong wind and sub-zero temperature did not make for ideal conditions, but didn't stop Perpignan from dominating the encounter.
The result sees the defending Top 14 champions climb back up to provisional second in the standings and provides a welcome boost to moral after four consecutive losses in all competitions.
The howling wind played a significant role but the home side made better use of it, especially early on the in second half after trailing 9-5 at the break.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski opened the scoring with a penalty after just four minutes, but Perpignan scrum-half Nicolas Durand would score the game's fist try on the quarter-hour mark to hand the hosts the lead.
The visitors were suffering, especially at scrum time, but used the tail wind to move back ahead thanks to a drop and another penalty from Wisniewski.
But it would be a different story when the teams swapped ends. South African centre Gavin Hume and prop Benoit Bourrust scored within five minuets of each other to put Perpignan in control as Jerome Porical added the extras.
Lock Olivier Olibeau added a fourth try under the posts after Hume broke against the run of play.
Racing centre Frans Steyn provided the main threat from the visitors, but a too many an occasion found himself isolated after breaking the Catalan line. On one just occasion shortly before the full-time whistle, Perpignan countered to as wing Farid Sid added the icing to the cake.
Tries:Durand, Hume, Bourrust, Olibeau, Sid
For Racing Metro:
Perpignan: 15 JÃ©rÃ´me Porical, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Gavin Hume, 11 Adrien PlantÃ©, 10 Steve Meyer, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Jean-Pierre PÃ©rez, 6 Gerrie Britz, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Olivier Olibeau, 3 Marius Tincu , 2 Guillem Guirado , 1 Perry Freshwater
Replacements16 BenoÃ®t Bourrust, 17 Marius Tincu, 18 JÃ©rÃ´me Schuster, 19 Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, 20 David MÃ©lÃ©, 21 Christophe Manas, 22 Ovidiu Tonita, 23 Florian Cazenave.
Racing Metro: 15 Greg Goosen,. 14 Henry Chavancy, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 FranÃ§ois Steyn, 11 Mani Vakaola, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Mathieu Loree, 8 SÃ©bastien Chabal, 7 Jones Qovu , 6 Jonny Leo'o, 5 Simon Raiwalui, 4 Lionel Nallet (C), 3 Andrea Lo Cicero, 2 Juan Pablo Orlandi , 1 Carlos Festuccia
Replacements16 ClÃ©ment BaÃ¯occo, 17 Dan Scarbrough, 18 Andrew Merthens, 19 Nic Berry, 20 Benjamin Noirot, 21 RÃ©my Vaquin, 22 Santiago Dellape, 23 Mikaele Tuugahala.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere