Despite 50 minutes outnumbered, Racing 92 won on the lawn of an uninspired Stade Français Paris team (13-17) and retains the right to dream of qualifying for the final phase of the Top 14.
Racing 92 had revenge to take. Corrected on its lawn by the Stade Français Paris on Christmas Eve, the Ile-de-France club was on a mission this Sunday at the Stade Jean-Bouin. At the end of the 21st day of the Top 14, the players of President Jacky Lorenzetti took a malicious pleasure in bringing down their rival on his ground. If the first moments of the meeting were marked by a predominance of footwork, it was the Ciel-et-Blancs who took the initiative. Following an offside position of the Parisian defense, Nolann Le Garrec opened the scoring in the 7th minute on penalty.
An advantage on the scoreboard which lasted only five minutes, the time for Joris Segonds to pass the penalty conceded by Veikoso Poloniati. The Tongan second line was guilty of a tackle in the face of a Romain Briatte unbalanced by the intervention of Anthime Hemery. A mitigating circumstance which prompted the referee of the meeting to prefer the yellow card to the red card on this action. At the quarter of an hour of play, after an anticipated defensive rise from the defense of Stade Français Paris, Nolann Le Garrec had the opportunity to restore the advantage to Racing 92 but the Ile-de-France striker missed the target. It was five minutes later that Christian Wade got the Racing 92 supporters who had made the trip to their feet. After a candle recovered by Nolann Le Garrec, Antoine Gibert tried to shift the former NFL player with a crossbar at the foot.
Poloniati embarrassed Racing 92
A gesture that the opener missed but luck was on his side. After several rebounds, Christian Wade was able to grab the ball in front of Lester Etien and take advantage of a disorganized Parisian defense to flatten the first try of the game. On this action, Morgan Parra injured his ankle and had to give way to James Hall. The game changed half an hour into the game when, after narrowly escaping fifteen minutes earlier, Veikoso Poloniati was shown a red card. This time, the Tongan was signaled by a headline at Jeremy Ward’s face. To rebalance his pack, Laurent Travers immediately launched Boris Palu in place of Anthime Hemery. In numerical superiority, the Parisians increased the pressure on their opponents but too many clumsiness did not allow them to take advantage of it, like the ball released by Harry Glover after a skipped pass from Léo Barré. Faced with this, Joris Segonds preferred to ensure shortly before the return to the locker room, passing a penalty to bring the club from the Capital to four units at the break. As soon as the restart, the Racingmen took the initiative but Nolann Le Garrec was again imprecise on foot on penalty. However, if the Parisians had the favorable rebounds in the first leg, it was the Ciel-et-Blancs who took advantage of it this Sunday. Five minutes into the game, Max Spring kicked for himself.
The Stade Français Paris has harvested too much
Present at the reception, Joris Segonds was completely trapped by the rebound of the ball, allowing the Ile-de-France full-back to grab it and go on a tryout against a mystified Stade Jean-Bouin. To keep the score, the Racing 92 bench brought in fresh blood and experience with the return to competition of Cameron Woki and the entry into play of Wenceslas Lauret. At one more, the Parisians never stopped trying to find the fault in the opposing defense but the barbed wire was installed. Cameron Woki notably distinguished himself with a scratch at the start of the last ten minutes. By dint of pushing, the Parisians ended up scoring a try… two minutes from the siren. On a play at the foot of Léo Barré, Peniasi Dakuwaqa was in the right place at the right time to grab the ball after rebounding and flatten in a corner. With the transformation, Stade Français Paris returned to the defensive bonus window, even giving themselves a last chance to snatch victory. However, on the engagement, James Ward makes a mistake and commits a forward. Coming out of the scrum, Ben Volavola completely missed his drop attempt, sending the ball to Léo Barré, who couldn’t grab it without making a forward. It was on this last action that the referee put an end to the debate on a victory for Racing 92 (13-17), which is one point from the Top 6. Stade Français Paris, meanwhile, sees Lyon closer to a length, this defensive bonus point snatched in extremis.