Scarlets made their way over to Paris for the sixth round of the Heineken Champions Cup campaign. Scene is set in the new La Defense Arena, the home of Racing 92 rugby.
The Scarlets name a strong matchday squad despite injuries, bringing Jon Davies into captaincy whilst Ken Owens takes a well earned rest after playing out of position for two consecutive weeks.
First half saw three penalty scores by Dan Jones, a wonderful try by Steff Evans and the opposition drawing in a further two tries and a penalty. Both teams brought out extra fire the second half where we saw Johnny McNicholl crossing the whitewash twice but it was the home team that came out on top with 13 point lead after four tries and a last minute penalty to seal the victory.
First half began with Dan Jones adding the first points to the board with a penalty kick. We went on to a home line-out not far from the halfway line advantage was given and Dan Jones kicks us down to the corner for some territory.
The game began to evolve into a quick pace with both teams showing determination. A slight mistake from us gave the home team an advantage for a clean line out and Racing’s ball saw them kick the white wash to concede their first try.
After a taste of success Racing re-started with some strong drive but lead to mistakes as the phase ended with a forward pass and a visitor’s scrum. Scarlets successfully gain a penalty from the scrum to kick down to Racing’s 22’. It was all to play for during the next few minutes as we showed a lot of attacking skills and putting Racing’s defence skills to the test, Hadleigh Parkes darts across the line but was held up and stopped in his tracks by Racing’s Simon Zebo. It wasn’t long until we found our feet again and Dan Jones kicked another successful Penalty putting us in the lead.
A turnover made by the youngster Dan Davis saw us at the 22’ meter line for a line-out where Steff Evans saw his chance and crossed the whitewash and later converted by Dan Jones.
It was rule-reversal time where we spent more time in our own 22’ defending our patch. Luckily Tom Prydie was in the right place at the right time and save a try himself by pushing Racing out to touch. Scarlets were later penalised for a high tackle which gave the home team the forward edge for a driving scrum across the try line adding an extra 7 points to the board.
Racing closed up the points gap with another penalty. The first half ended with a scrum in Racing’s 22’ where the Scarlets managed to turn the scrum for a penalty which put them in the lead going into the second half.
Half Time; Racing 92 15 Scarlets 16
Second half began immensely successful for the visitors as Ryan elisa gained possession from the scrum which then lead to Steff Evs kicking the ball down field TMO later decided the try was conceded by Johnny McNicholl and later converted by Dan Jones.
It wasn’t long till Racing’s Simon Zebo fancied the limelight as he also crossed the try line minutes after and a successful conversion.
Scarlets found themselves in the home 22’ in possession and after a few off-loads the whistle blew for a penalty and Dan Jones performs perfectly once again.
Racing’s defence started to appear as pressure was put on the Scarlets in their own 22’ and it was Vakatawa crossing the line for their fourth try of the match.
Scarlets managed to gain territory across the try line but it was too many bodies involved as Racing held up the ball resulting in a 5 meter scrum for the visitors. Adding more pressure Racing found themselves giving out penalties but unfortunately Dan Jones missed, and Pivac began replacing the team. Both teams’ cracks began to show, but Racing still managed to cross the line for another try by Teddy Iribaren which was only replaced a few minutes prior.
Last 10 minutes of the game saw both teams scratching at the last few moments of possession. A huge kick down field by Racing sent Simon Zebo down the field for his second try of the match putting the home team in the lead. But the Scarlets went out on a bang with a second try moments later by Johnny McNicholl and converted by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. Match drew to an end with a penalty for the home team giving them a 13 point lead and a home Quarter-Final in the European Heineken Champions Cup.
Final Score; Racing 92 46 Scarlets 33
|7||Bernard Le Roux||0||0||0||0|
|17||Eddy Ben Arous||0||0||0||0|