The Ciel et Blanc, wearing their dark blue kit for the occasion, took the win over the TOP 14 Champion, Castres Olympique (25-15). (Crédit photo : Julien Poupart // Attitude Rugby)
We predicted a big clash for this match against the TOP 14 champions, it happened! This right from the start with Ciel et Blanc winger Juan Imhoff who quickly passed the try-line at the 3rd minute, after a nice collective play. The Puma was putting up great performance for a few weeks now, with great runs and boiling hot legs, and was getting really impatient to score his first try of the season.
In first half, the Racingmen were showing more strength and a great desire to hold their opponent on their side of the field. A ground domination that was nicely converted by the International French scrum-half, Maxime Machenaud and its right boot.
But the visitors getting impatient, were playing on the Racing indiscipline to take points and come back on their opponent of the day. At half-time, both teams were heading back to their changing rooms on the score of 14-6.
Back on the field, Castres Olympique were showing a different face, initiating dangerous offensive plays, without though making Racing doubt on their superiority. Like Matthias Rolland, Manager of the Castres Olympique, said at the post match press conference: “Both scrum-halves, Machenaud and Kockott were answering back-to-back penalty kicks”. Just 10 minutes remaining and only five points ahead (20-15), Racing’s line out built into a running maul, and Juan Imhoff, him again, decided to rip the maul, taking the outside converting a two against one for his second try of the night.
A few minutes left to the game, the Ciel et Blanc supporters were rising their voices up, shouting “Go for the attacking bonus”. At the 75th minute, after a quickly played penalty, the Racing fly-half of the night Estebanez was making the assist for Imhoff who went for his hattrick scoring in the Castres in-goal area. Unfortunately for the Ciel et Blanc, the try was refused due to a forward pass. Fabrice Estebanez disappointed, was angry at himself, insisting on the fact he left the bonus point behind. “I, I leave a point behind tonight”. Nonetheless, the Number 10 was satisfied, “We are proud of our win over the Champion at home in Colombes, we are happy for the staff, for the supporters, we are all very happy.” Center proclaimed fly-half for the big clash, was thanking, with a bright smile on his face, the big match of his team-mates “with a Maxime Machenaud in fury like we had tonight, it’s much easier”.
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Saturday 26th August