Racing hold on to beat Clermont in Heineken Cup

Racing Metro held on in their Heineken Cup opener to beat French rivals Clermont 13-9 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir (Colombes) on Sunday.

Racing scored the only try of the match but their defence won the match for them especially in the closing stages when they held on with 14 men for victory.

Racing’s South African second rower Francois van der Merwe was yellow carded with two minutes left on the clock but the home side managed to keep last year’s finalists from crossing the whitewash at the death.

In Paris, three Morgan Parra penalties to one from Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton saw Clermont hold a 9-3 lead at half-time.

But the hosts came firing back with a breakaway Marc Andreu try after a turnover following a scorching break by Sitiveni Sivivatu, the former All Black winger who was one of the sole bright attacking lights on a night of desperate defence.

Sexton converted Andreu’s try and hit a 54th minute penalty to stretch the lead, Parra missing a straightforward effort in reply.

Racing-Metro’s defence held firm for the remainder of a hard-fought second period, while Clermont had to be happy with a defensive bonus point to begin their Pool 4 campaign.

Final Score Racing 13 (3) Clermont 9 (9)


Tries – Andreu
Pen – Sexton (2)
Con – Sexton
Drop –

Tries –
Pen – Parra (3)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
: Nigel Owens (Wales),
Assistant ref: Gwyn Morris (Wales),
Assistant ref: Wayne Davies (Wales),
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: John West (Ireland)


Racing Metro 92: Benjamin Lapeyre; Marc Andreu, Fabrice Estebanez, Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Imhoff; Jonny Sexton, Maxime Machenaud; Davit Khinchagishvili, Dimitri Szarzewski (c), Luc Ducalcon, Juandre Kruger, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Antoine Battut, Jacques Cronje

Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, Eddy Ben Arous, Julien Brugnaut, Fabrice Metz, Bernard Le Roux, Laurent Magnaval, Henry Chavancy, Benjamin Dambielle

ASM Clermont Auvergne: Lee Byrne; Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurélien Rougerie (c), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga; Brock James, Morgan Parra; Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Julien Pierre, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire, Julien Bardy, Damien Chouly

Replacements: Ti’i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Loic Jacquet, Gerhard Vosloo, Thierry Lacrampe, Benson Stanley, Jean-Marcel Buttin

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