Saints and Racing 92 share the points

Date published: December 18 2015

Northampton and Racing 92 played out a dull 9-9 draw in their Champions Cup clash, leaving the French side two points clear at the Pool 3 summit.

In a tight and tense first-half riddled with mistakes, it was the French outfit that moved into a 6-3 lead at the break through a pair of Dan Carter penalties.

Stephen Myler had given the hosts an early 3-0 advantage but they struggled to breach a solid visiting rearguard in the opening 40 minutes.

Roles were reversed after the interval as Myler's two three-pointers to Carter's one meant both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Having succumbed to the Top 14 side 33-3 last weekend, Saints' director of rugby Jim Mallinder required a response and he got it in the early exchanges. They controlled the forward confrontations and, following a dominant scrum, Myler converted a penalty opportunity.

However, Racing gradually grew into the game and Carter levelled matters from the tee at the end of the first quarter.

Northampton had a few chances to exert pressure, but it was the away team who looked the most potent with ball in hand and Casey Laulala's brilliant offload sent Henry Chavancy through a gap. Although that move broke down, a second three-pointer by the visiting New Zealand fly-half gave them a 6-3 lead at the interval.

Saints began the second period like they did the first and Myler deservedly equalised, but they couldn't truly take advantage when on the front foot and Racing went back ahead through the boot of Carter.

Mallinder's men did continue to press and Myler's third penalty restored parity once more. Both sides then looked for the winning score but neither could find the decisive breakthrough.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Pen: Myler 3

For Racing 92:
Pen: Carter 3

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Christian Day, 20 Michael Paterson, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Ken Pisi.

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Marc Andreu.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)