Russell releases Racing 92!
At the end of an intense and rhythmic match from start to finish, Racing 92 narrowly dominated La Rochelle (39-36), thanks to a penalty from Russell after the siren, during the 16th day of the Top 14.
After an intense fight on both sides, it therefore took a final penalty from Finn Russell after the siren (81st) to see Racing 92 finally win against La Rochelle this Saturday (39-36). Before that, during this shock of the 16th day of the Top 14, the two formations had made equal play at the Paris La Défense Arena, while each team had its period. Because, at first, if Russell scored two penalties at the start of the match (4th and 6th), it was then the visitors who hit hard in no time. Indeed, shortly after a try from Jules Favre (9th), Rémi Picquette imitated his teammate (14th). It was then that Donovan Taofifenua sounded the revolt for the locals (16-17, 23rd), a try which followed a penalty on each side, from Russell and Antoine Hastoy. Back within reach of Ronan O’Gara’s players, the Racingmen however cracked before the break. After a penalty from the former Pau, the opener who was training with the XV of France this week in Capbreton also scored a try (28th) and a new penalty (36th). At the break, La Rochelle made a strong impression (16-28).
Short-lived joy for the Maritimes
Touched, but not sunk, Racing 92 ended up reacting in the second half. After a converted try from Olivier Klemenczak (43rd) and a penalty from Russell (50th), Laurent Travers’ players were able to take advantage of Levani Botia’s yellow card for a cathedral tackle (61st). Because if Hastoy also passed a penalty during the numerical inferiority of his team, Russell did the same (62nd), while Klemenczak offered him a double (36-31, 70th). But, in the process, Hastoy, simply untenable this Saturday (26 points), again showered the atmosphere in Nanterre with a new try for him (72nd). Unfortunately for him and his team, the latter then missed the conversion that would have allowed the Maritimes to come back in front. Finally, after a last foul from La Rochelle, it was Russell who freed Racing 92 from a penalty of around 35 meters in the centre. The Scot could logically exult with his teammates after this last winning kick. In the standings, the locals (4th) are tied with their evening opponents (3rd) with 42 points.
TOP 14 / 16TH DAY
Saturday January 28, 2023
Lyons – Clermont: 34-14
Bayonne – Brive: 37-9
Castres – Bordeaux-Bègles: 23-18
Toulon – Paul: 27-16
Perpignan – French Stadium: 31-24
Racing 92 – La Rochelle: 39-36
Sunday, January 29, 2023
9:05 p.m.: Toulouse–Montpellier