20 points from Jonathan Wisniewski helped Racing MÃ©tro stun London Irish 25-19 in their Heineken Cup fixture at Madejski Stadium.
20 points from the boot of Jonathan Wisniewski saw Racing MÃ©tro stun London Irish 25-19 in their Heineken Cup fixture at Madejski Stadium.
After securing a bonus point in a 34-14 win away in Paris last week, London Irish supporters may have been expecting more of the same and an explosive first half. They did not get one.
After the prolific Tom Homer struck a penalty superbly from 55 metres out, Racing Metro acquitted themselves well at the Madejski Stadium. French fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski levelled the scores at 3-3 after ten minutes to settle any nerves and for the remainder of the half he matched Homer point for point.
With tries proving hard to come by, handling errors and ill-discipline were prevalent and both kickers were taking advantage of every penalty opportunity to leave the score 12-9 to London Irish after half an hour.
The final ten minutes of the opening half were dominated by the visitors though and after playing some enterprising rugby, they could and perhaps should have come away with more than two Wisniewski drop goals before the break.
The interval did not bring about a change of momentum either as Racing Metro continued to play the better rugby and look the most likely to score the game's first try.
And after Wisniewski completed a personal hat-trick of drop goals, Sireli Bobo did cross the whitewash to make it 25-12, capitalising on some poor handling from the hosts and hacking the ball on before outpacing Homer to touch the ball down.
Irish toiled away in the final twenty minutes but were unable to find a way back into the match, despite their opponents being down to fourteen men for ten minutes.
However, as the clock ticked over 80 minutes hooker David Paice crashed over and Homer added the extra two points to give the Londoners a bonus point.
For London Irish:
Pen: Homer 4
For Racing MÃ©tro:
Pen: Wisniewski 3
Drop: Wisniewski 3
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Tom Homer, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matthew Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Bob Casey, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Paul Hodgson.
Racing MÃ©tro 92: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Julien Saubade, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sereli Bobo, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Remi Vaquiin, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Santiago Dellape, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Noirot, 17 Mikaele Tuugahala, 18 Johannes Coetzee, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Sebastien Descons, 21 Juan Martin Hernandez, 22 Bernard Le Roux, 23 Karim Ghezal.
Referee: John Lacey