Saracens turn the tables on Racing Metro

Saracens ended their Heineken Cup losing streak by beating Racing Metro 14-19 in atrocious conditions with snow coming down for most of the Heineken Cup match.


Last weekend Saracens lost 21-24 to Racing Metro at Welford Road and the result almost certainly ended their chances of reaching the Heineken Cup play offs.


The match was played in such heavy snow that the officials had to keep using blowers to blow away the lines on the field and Saracens played the conditions better.


Owen Farrell helped Saracens to their first Heineken Cup victory of the season with a clinical first half display. 


Racing Metro’s victory in Watford last weekend condemned Saracens to their third loss in the competition but from the outset in France this evening the English premiership side showed their intentions and were dedicated throughout. 


After a hectic travel journey to the stadium, Saracens could have been forgiven for a slow start but it was anything but from the visitors as their speed and aggression prevented the home side from any early possession. 


Farrell kicked his side six points ahead with a penalty after two minutes and then a simple drop goal.


The Racing pack repeatedly tried to create and continued to make the hard yards but in arctic conditions nothing clicked for the home side.


It was Farrell’s run on the angle through the Racing defence which created the opening try. Farrell shoved two defenders aside and was bought down just short before the ball was recycled wide to Brad Barritt who glided over to score.


Farrell added the two points and kicked a penalty on the stroke of half time to take the North Londoner’s into the break 16-points ahead.


Racing Metro needed to come out a changed team and that is certainly what they did.


The difference was dramatic as they began to have the upper hand and grew in confidence.


Saracens found it hard to deal with the home side’s energy and passion in attack and Racing struck twice in quick succession through Mirco Bergamasco and then Nicolas Durand.


Bergamasco charged down Saracens’ Neil de Kock clearance and calmly collected the ball and touched down to start the comeback. Jonathan Wisniewski who missed an earlier penalty added the two points.


The powerful Racing pack were awarded a penalty at a 5-metre scrum and just as everyone expected them to request another scrum, half-back Durand took a quick tap and dived over for a converted try.


The last twenty minutes were a hard fought battle but Man of the Match Farrell kicked a late penalty to cement the victory. 


Final Score Racing Metro (0) 14 Saracens (16) 19


Scorers


Racing Metro
Tries: Bergamasco , Durand
Cons: Wisniewski 2


Saracens
Tries: Barritt
Cons: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 3
Drop-goals Farrell


Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)


Teams


Racing Metro 92: J Hernandez, S Bobo, H Chavancy, F Steyn, M Bergamasco, J Wisniewski, N Durand, J Brugnaut, B Noirot, J Orlandi, S Dellape, J Nailiko, J Leo’o, J Cronje, S Chabal [capt].


Replacements:C Festuccia, A Lo Cicero, B Sa, K Ghezal, J Fillol, D Scarbrough, R Vaquiin, B Le Roux


Saracens: C Wyles, D Strettle, M Tagicakibau, B Barritt, J Short, O Farrell, N de Kock, R Gill, S Brits, P Du Plessis, H Smith, H Vyvyan [capt], J Melck, J Burger, K Brown.


Replacements: J George, D Carstens, C Nieto, G Kruis, E Joubert, R Wigglesworth, N Mordt, N Cato

 

With thanks to ERCRugby

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