Racing edge thriller against Highlanders

Date published: February 6 2016

Super Rugby champions the Highlanders suffered a 45-38 loss to Racing 92 in their warm-up match in Hong Kong on Saturday.

As the scoreline suggests, this was an exciting affair and Racing outscored the Highlanders seven tries to six with scrum-half Xavier Chauveau leading the way for the French side with a brace of five pointers.

Highlanders full-back Matt Faddes, who was making his debut, was not to be outdone and also crossed for two tries.

The Highlanders raced into a 7-0 lead, thanks to a penalty try which Lima Sopoaga converted but Racing drew level when Chauveau scored his first try which crowd favourite Dan Carter converted.

Racing then took the lead when their captain Francois van der Merwe crossed for their second try but the Highlanders dominated the rest of the half and held a 21-12 lead at half-time thanks to Faddes' well-taken tries.

The Dunedin-based franchise extended their lead when Richard Buckman crossed the whitewash, shortly after the restart, but the Parisian-based outfit didn't surrender and soon led after Marc Andreu, Chauveau and Antonie Claassen scored tries.

The Highlanders drew level when Liam Squire dotted down in the 57th minute and were in front again when Tei Walden dotted down after Josh Renton did well in the build up.

That was the last time they would score points however as Racing finished strongly thanks to tries from Luc Ducalcon, Johan Goosen and Chris Masoe to seal a deserved win.

The scorers:

For Highlanders:
Tries: Penalty try, Faddes 2, Buckman, Squire, Walden
Cons: Sopoaga 3, Banks

For Racing 92:
Tries: Chauveau 2, Van der Merwe, Andreu, Ducalcon, Goosen, Masoe
Cons: Carter, Dambielle 4

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Josh Renton, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (c), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Sio Tomkinson, 21 Liam Howley, 22 Malakai Fekitoa, 23 Tei Walden, 24 Ryan Tongia, 25 Marty Banks, 26 Luke Whitelock, 27 James Lentjes, 28 Mark Reddish

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Etienne Dussartre, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Luc Barba, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Francois van der Merwe (c), 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Cedabe Gomes Sa, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Davit Khinchagishvili, 18 Juandre Kruger, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Benjamin Dambielle, 22 Joe Rokocoko, 23 Ben Tameifuna, 24 Luc Ducalcon, 25 Manuel Carizza, 26 Maxime Javaux, 27 Juan Imhoff, 28 Johannes Goosen

Referee: Tim Baker (Hong Kong)