Racing-MÃ©tro lived up to their credentials as Top 14 title contenders on Wednesday with a convincing 28-17 win over Clermont in Paris.
Racing-MÃ©tro lived up to their credentials as Top 14 title contenders on Wednesday with a convincing 28-17 win over defending champions Clermont in Paris.
Clermont had changed the entire starting XV that beat Brive last Saturday and were a pale shadow of the team that won the championship last season.
The Racing scrum shoved their visitors around for most of the game that saw each side score a try.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski however was in great form, kicking six penalties a drop and a conversion for a contribution of 23 points and kept Clermont pinned back with his territorial kicking.
Clermont started in adventurous fashion and took the early lead thanks to two penalties from centre Wesley Fofana.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski leveled the scores at the end of the first quarter when he followed up a penalty with a neat drop. The home number ten then put his side ahead from the kicking tee on the half-hour mark.
Racing skipper Lionel Nallet provided the platform for the game's first try, stealing the ball in contact and then bursting clear. At the ensuing ruck scrum-half Mathieu Loree kicked ahead for wing Julien Saubade, who scored untouched.
Clermont's South African fly-half Brent Russell was pulled off before the end of the first half and it was left to Brock James to compete with Wisniewski in a kicking duel that saw the home side up 19-9 at the break.
Former Crusaders hooker Ti'i Paulo scored for Clermont in the second half but the visitors continue to struggle at the set pieces and Wisniewski continued to send over the penalties.
Clermont brought on the big guns in the final quarter but they were unable to salvage a losing bonus point as Wisniewski added his sixth penalty in the dying minutes.
The win lifts Racing to fourth in the Top 14 standings while Clermont drop to sixth.
Pens: Wisniewski 6
For Clermont Auvergne:
Pens: Williams 2, James 2
Yellow card: Fall (Racing – 6th min – shoulder charge)
Racing-MÃ©tro:15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Sireli Bobo, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Julien Saubade, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Mathieu Loree, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Antoine Battut, 6 Jonny Leo'o , 5 Lionel Nallet (C), 4 Jones Qovu, 3 Benjamin Noirot, 2 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.Replacements: 16 Gregory Arganese, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Karim Ghezal , 19 SÃ©bastien Chabal, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Juan Martin Hernandez, 22 Mirco Bergamasco, 23 Mikaele Tuugahala
Clermont Auvergne: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Gavin Williams, 13 Kini Murimurivalu, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11Gonzalo Canale, 10 Brent Russell, 9 Kevin Senio, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Julien Bardy , 6 Alexandre Aubebert, 5 Jason White, 4 Thibaut Privat (c), 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Ti'i Paul, 1 Thomas Domingo.Replacements: 16 Mario Ledesma, 17 Lionel Faure, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Elvis Vermeulen, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Brock James , 22 AurÃ©lien Rougerie, 23 ClÃ©ment Ric
Venue:Stade Yves Du Manoir, Colombes (Paris)