After another end of match full of solidarity in the defensive end, Racing Metro 92 won their francilian derby against Stade Français (16-12). A success achieved through pain but Ciel et Blanc manage to stay close to their opponents sitting at the top of the league table.
We couldn’t have expected a better start. As Marc Andreu was already crossing the in-goal line straight after kick-off, but it was Luc Ducalcon who was the first to score, this to reward this thunderous start made by Racingmen. The winger’s try was ultimately refused and transformed into a Parisian line out, Juandré Kruger directly snatched the ball, leading to a great offensive organization which then made the rest of the work, to permit Ciel et Blanc’s prop to score the first points on the scoreboard. What followed was a little flat. Racing saw its neighbor come back little by little thanks to Julien Dupuy’s foot and even felt released when Mister Berdos, referee of the match whistled out a forward pass as Julien Arias thought he was giving the advantage to his side.
As if Racing wasn’t already dealing with enough injury problems, Laurent Magnaval, in tears, leaves the game due to a knee injury, replaced by Sébastien Descons who gave him a comforting tap on the shoulder. Back in the game, Ciel et Blanc missed the occasion to take a larger lead on the scoreboard. A forward pass from Ducalcon who obliged Racing to join the locker-rooms win only a four point lead, 10-6.
Back from half-time, Pascal Papé made a bad and impressive tackle sanctioned by a yellow card. A few seconds earlier, Sexton permitted his side to take a better lead thanks to another penalty on target (13-6, 45’). Then, Stade Français made one or two adjustments with the team which paid off to show up a Parisian domination. Suspense could have been killed before if this great run from Fabrice Estebanez would have gone all the way. But unfortunately a forward pass was called by the referee, giving to Quesada’s men, former Ciel et Blanc coach, the opportunity to switch back to offensive mode. Racing was offering to the supporters of the Stade de France a remake from their European win against Clermont two weeks from now. Parisians, attacking a few meters from the Ciel et Blanc’s in-goal area, were pounding hard but fell on a strong francilian defense full aggressiveness.
Thanks to this success in the francilian derby, Racing is still unbeaten at home against its Parisian neighbor since its comeback in the elite championship. The Labit-Travers duet sees their squad moving upwards in the league table. It’s now time to get focus on the travel to Biarritz before the traditional winter break. A confrontation that Ciel et Blanc will have at heart to win to then enjoy freely their weeks of rest.
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