Planet Rugby

Sarries fight back to knock Racing out

12th January 2013 17:35

Share:

Owen Farrell Saracens Racing Metro

11/11: Owen Farrell

Saracens took control of Heineken Cup Pool One thanks to a 37-28 win over Racing Métro, despite being outscored three tries to one in Nantes on Saturday.

Racing led 25-12 after 30 minutes but fell apart in the second half as Sarries fly-half Owen Farrell massacred the hosts from the kicking tee, finishing with a perfect record from eleven attempts at goal.

The result means that victory at home to out-of-form Edinburgh next week will secure Saracens top spot in the pool and a place in the quarter-finals. Racing must travel to Munster in a battle for second place.

The hosts started like a train at Stade de la Beaujoire and, after David Strettle had picked up an early injury, his fellow backs Chris Ashton and Richard Wigglesworth were powerless to stop the enormous prop Luc Ducalcon forcing his way over from short range inside the opening 10 minutes.

Ashton's error under a high ball then afforded Racing the opportunity to run in a second try and Juan Imhoff gleefully accepted it and dived over in the right-hand corner after an excellent floated pass from Fabrice Estebanez.

Imhoff's second and the French side's third then arrived moments later as Juan Martin Hernandez shrugged off Joel Tomkins far too easily before providing the killer pass for his countryman to score in the corner again.

Saracens then lost their discipline as well as their defensive shape as Will Fraser was sent to the sin bin for a late hit on Hernandez and Sebastien Descons added a penalty to his two previous conversions.

Oddly enough, Saracens only faced a 10-point deficit though as Farrell kicked a penalty almost immediately after the kick-off following each of the French team's scores.

Descons slotted over another three points before the half-hour mark but Farrell responded again with two more penalties of his own after Fijian Jone Qovu was sent to the sin bin himself for a late shoulder charge on the Sarries fly-half.

The Londoners will have been delighted to head into the break trailing by just seven points after a whirlwind first half in which they were distinctly second best and they drew level in the early stages of the second half.

They may have been fortunate to have been in touching distance at half-time but their play after the interval owed much more to skill and determination than luck and Chris Wyles got the try to level the scores after great work from Farrell and Tomkins.

Farrell added the conversion and three further penalties to just one from Descons as the second half developed into a far tighter and edgier affair than the first.

Saracens survived another period down to 14 men when Ashton was given a harsh yellow card and they soaked up everything Racing could throw at them before sealing an improbable victory with a remarkable tenth penalty from the flawless boot of their young England fly-half.

The scorers:

For Racing Métro:
Tries: Ducalcon, Imhoff 2
Cons: Descons 2
Pens: Descons 3
Yellow cards: Qovu; Noirot

For Saracens:
Try: Wyles
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 10
Yellow cards: Fraser, Ashton

Racing Metro: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Sireli Bobo, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Sebastien Descons, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Francois Van Der Merwe, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Benkjamin Noirot, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Benjamin Sa, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Camille Gerondeau, 21 Jacques Cronje, 22 Mathieu Belie, 23 Olly Barkley.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Venue: La Beaujoire, Nantes
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411