Racing 92 prove too much for Munster in Paris

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Racing 92 have beaten Munster at the La Defense Arena this afternoon by 39-22 in Paris, picking up a bonus point try with seconds left of the clock.

Racing made mistakes early on in the game to give Munster out-half JJ Hanrahan three penalties to put his side 9-0 ahead after the opening twenty minutes of play, where it was Munster who were in full control.

Racing scrum-half Teddy Iribaren split the posts to open Racing’s account soon after to get within six points.

Heineken Champions Cup Round 5, La Defense Arena, Paris, France 12/1/2020
Racing 92 vs Munster
Munster’s JJ Hanrahan kicks a penalty
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

A beautiful Teddy Iribaren 23 metre reverse sweeping pass found the hands of Teddy Thomas to get themselves on the scoreboard. Match referee Wayne Barnes went to his TMO to check for a potential Vakatawa knock-on however the try was deservedly awarded.

The Parisian Club’s “Le Petit General” couldn’t add the extras so Munster retained their lead 9-8.

As halftime approached Munster pulled out their ‘get out of jail card’. Racing had the Munster defence stretched and they looked certain to score a try, however, Chavancy’s pass was intercepted by Andrew Conway, who then ran the length of the pitch to cross the whitewash and earn Munster their first try of the afternoon.

Heineken Champions Cup Round 5, La Defense Arena, Paris, France 12/1/2020
Racing 92 vs Munster
Munster’s Andrew Conway scores a try
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Hanrahan added the extras with the boot and the visitors took a five-point lead as both sides entered the break.

Halftime: Racing 11 – 16 Munster

Both sides exchanged penalty kicks in the opening ten minutes and more importantly, JJ Hanrahan ‘s penalty stretched Munster’s lead to 19-14.

Just short of the hour mark, Racing took the lead by 20-19 thanks to the boot of Iribaren. Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue was penalised at the breakdown to give the penalty kick away in front of the posts.

Soon after, Jean Kleyn’s drive for the line came up short for the province. Murray then looked for Billy Holland, who knocked on the ball. With the try-scoring opportunity missed, Hanrahan pointed to the posts and kicked Munster back into a 22-20 lead.

But the French club came knocking on Munster’s door. A brilliant kick by Finn Russell found Teddy Thomas who did superbly to finish it off. Machenaud missed the conversion to leave three points between the pair down the stretch.

Heineken Champions Cup Round 5, La Defense Arena, Paris, France 12/1/2020
Racing 92 vs Munster
Racing 92’s Teddy Thomas celebrates his try
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Racing came forward once again. This time spreading the ball wide and to find Virimi Vakatawa to score. Machenaud’s conversion stretched Racing’s lead to ten points as fulltime approached.

But that wasn’t the end for Munster’s misery. The Parisian club finished out the game in style by scoring a bonus point fourth try to send Munster home empty-handed through Juan Imhoff. Machenaud converted and Wayne Barnes blew the fulltime whistle.

Fulltime score: Racing 39 – 22 Munster

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