Racing survive Pau fightback

Date published: April 9 2017

A first-half blitz from Racing 92 saw them claim a 34-32 win over Pau at Stade Yves Du Manoir on Sunday.

It looked as though Pau were dead and buried until the final ten minutes when the visitors turned on the pressure and scored three incredible tries through Watisoni Votu, Romain Buros and Daniel Ramsay which changed the scoreline from 34-13 to 34-32, but the Parisians had done enough to keep their lead.

Racing 92 drew first blood when Joe Rokocoko dotted down a try in the sixth minute with All Black legend Dan Carter adding the extras.

New Zealander Tom Taylor would added Pau's first points of the game after slotting a penalty in the tenth minute to try and close the gap on their opponents.

Racing built on their lead though in the 17th minute when Juan Imhoff crossed to make his side's tally 17-3 after help from Carter's five points which came through a conversion and a penalty.

The Parisians were relentless in their display of dominance after scoring another five-pointer 10 minutes later when Ben Tameifuna barged over the whitewash which made the score an imposing 27-3 after Carter's extras.

The visitors finally claimed a try of their own when hooker Quentin Lespiaucq added five points for his team but unfortunately for them the conversion was missed and would go into the half 27-8 down.

Racing were the first out of the blocks in the second half with outside centre Henry Chavancy making it a big scoreline, with Carter effortlessly adding another two points.

Pau scored their second when replacement Taniela Moa burst through the opposition defence and closed the gap with a conversion being missed once again which would be the beginning of Pau's titanic comeback.

It stayed quiet until the last five minutes which is where the game really got interesting.

Pau scored three tries in 10 minutes after playing from all over the field and if they had knocked over some of their conversions earlier in the game it might have been a very different ending.

The scorers:

For Racing 92:
Rokocoko, Imhoff, Tameifuna, 
Cons: Carter 4
Pens: Carter 2

For Pau:
Lespiaucq, Moa, Votu, Buros, Ramsay, 
Cons: Fajardo 2
Pens: Taylor

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Viliamu Afatia, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Manuel Carizza, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 James Hart, 21 Remi Tales, 22 Teddy Thomas, 23 Luc Ducalcon

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Mosese Ratuvou, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Masalosalo Tutaia, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Jeremy Hurou
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Chris King, 18 Daniel Ramsay, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Romain Buros, 23 Sylvain Charlet

Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Julien Castaignède, Jean-Luc Rebollal
TMO: Patrick Péchambert