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Racing Metro 14-19 Saracens

Racing Metro (0) 14
Tries: Bergamasco , Durand Cons: Wisniewski 2
Saracens (16) 19

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

Saracens' hooker Schalk Brits palms off Racing Metro captain Nicolas Durand
Saracens' hooker Schalk Brits palms off Racing Metro captain Nicolas Durand

By Michael Da Silva

Bottom-of-the table Saracens survived Racing Metro's second-half resurgence at a snow-hit Stade Olympique in Paris.

A Brad Barritt try and 11 points from the boot of Owen Farrell gave Sarries a commanding 16-0 lead at half-time.

But converted tries from Mirco Bergamasco and Nicolas Durand cut Sarries' lead to two points, as Racing gained the impetus in awful conditions.

But Farrell's penalty secured the Pool Two win for Sarries, who have little chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Saracens adapted quickly to the conditions, forcing a penalty inside the opening minute.

It was about who could play the conditions best, that was the main thing, and in the first half we were really good at that

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter

Farrell's kick crashed back off the upright, but the Sarries fly-half quickly made amends after the visitors won a penalty following a Racing infringement at a five-yard scrum.

Soon afterwards Farrell's drop-goal put the visitors, who needed a win to keep their very slim hopes of making the quarter-finals alive, further ahead.

Saracens were denied a try in the 18th minute when Farrell's left heel was adjudged - following a video replay - to be marginally in touch before he planted the ball.

As the Parisian weather deteriorated, so did the quality of play, but in a rare bright moment for Racing, Benjamin Fall evaded two tackles after a strong run, only to be halted five yards from the line.

However Racing fell further behind when Sarries' first-half pressure was rewarded with a converted try from Barritt, who finished off a cute move after Farrell had been denied a metre from the line.

Farrell then stretched Saracens lead to 16 points before the break with another penalty.

606: DEBATE

After the second-half restart Bergamasco opportunistically charged down Neil de Kock's clearance and giving him the simple task of scoring a try, which was converted by Jonathan Wisniewski.

A resurgent Racing then opted to go for the try after winning a penalty, a tactic that was rewarded by Durand scoring and Wisniewski kicking his second conversion to reduce Sarries' lead to two point after barely eight second-half minutes.

But as the snow thickened and the ground staff worked on making the lines visible as play continued, Racing were unable to capitalise on that bright start and that late Farrell penalty secured the win for Saracens.

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter, who last week gave a bizarre post-match television interview, this week answered questions properly.

"We played really well last week as well but they just beat us in the end," he said.

"It was a great first-half performance and tactically we weren't as sharp in the second half as we could have been but it's a great win for us.

"It was about who could play the conditions best, that was the main thing, and in the first half we were really good at that. "We gave them two soft tries in the second half but the guys did brilliantly to keep going."


Saracens: Wyles; Strettle, M Tagicakibau, Barritt, Short; Farrell, De Kock; Gill, Brits, Du Plessis, Smith, Vyvyan (capt), Melck, Burger, Brown.

Replacements: George, Carstens, Nieto, Kruis, Joubert, Wigglesworth, Mordt, Cato.

Racing Metro: Hernandez, Bobo, Bergamasco, Steyn, Fall, Wisniewski, Durand; Brugnaut, Noirot, Orlandi, Dellapé, Ghezal, Leo'o, Galindo, Cronje.

Replacements: Festuccia, Lo Cicero, Sa, Nallet, Fillol, Scarbrough, Vaquin, Le Roux



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see also
Venter protest backed by Sarries
12 Dec 10 |  Saracens
Saracens 21-24 Racing Metro
11 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Rugby Union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup 2010/11
29 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union


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