Racing Metro 92 will face the English Harlequins which got defeated in their two first HCup rounds this season, on Saturday at stade de La Beaujoire in Nantes, in a confrontation that could already be decisive for the future of those two clubs on the continent.
The European competition is a big challenge which Ciel et Blanc never managed to succeed in further than the pool phases. Today, Racing is in good position to cure its deficiency, at the time to return to stade La Beaujoire, which smiled to Racing in terms of great rugby performance but not in terms of result, last year against Saracens. The inaugural success against ASM Clermont-Auvergne joint with the draw snatched at Scarlets, permitted to the coaching duo, Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers to stay close to their first qualification for the knock out stages. An ambitious goal that francilians would like to reach, at last.
For it, Racing has chosen Nantes, a wonderful stadium that players fully enjoyed to perform in last year. The imperishable memory left to Ciel et Blanc in La Beaujoire would want for today to turn the story around and offer to its supporters a wise success which would also see Racing close to its first qualification for the HCup knock out stages. Even though the last few francilian travels didn’t quite come out as successful, it’s time for Racingmen to retrieve a competition that they admit being their primary goal.
Racing Metro 92 will have the ambition to continue on their TOP 14 win against Monpellier. Continue to retrieve this confidence which showed up among the Ciel et Blanc in this same HCup competition a few weeks ago. This time, against the Harlequins, a team met during the pre-season and beaten with ease (40-28), in a friendly where each squad were creating non-stop plays. It won’t be easy and Maxime Machenaud’s partners are conscious of it. The coming confrontation will absolutely not look as this July friendly game, played in Geneva. The English side has since got fitter and brought up a very good cohesive group. During the HCup drawn, this pool was defined as one of the toughest group of the 2013-2014 edition and at the moment, Racing positioned themselves pretty wisely to possibly look further than just those pool phases. As Jonathan Sexton, triple champion of the competition, and his team-mates will of course give their best to reach those goal, why not sweep the Harlequins before traveling to their homeland, in London city a week from here.
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Saturday 26th August