Racing and Ryan set up Munster semi-final in Bordeaux
Paris club secure Champions Cup quarter-final victory away to Clermont Auvergne
Racing 92’s Donnacha Ryan celebrates after his side’s victory over Clermont Auvergne in the Champions Cup semi-final at Stade Marcel-Michelin. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Clermont Auvergne 17 Racing 92 28
Racing 92 recovered from a shaky start to beat fellow French club Clermont 28-17 away and secure a Champions Cup semi-final against Munster in Bordeaux in three weeks’ time.
Racing, who quickly trailed 9-0, prevailed thanks to tries by Leone Nakarawa, Marc Andreu and Boris Palu with Maxime Machenaud adding three penalties and two conversions. Former Munster and Ireland lock Donnacha Ryan played the full 80 minutes for Racing.
Three-times runners-up Clermont replied with four penalties by Morgan Parra and Peter Betham’s try.
Clermont opened a 9-0 lead thanks to three penalties by Parra, but Nakarawa reduced the arrears when he dived over after unsettling the hosts’ defence with a fine dummy pass.
Machenaud converted and put the visitors ahead with a penalty just after the half hour.
But Racing lost focus and were immediately punished when Parra found space in the Racing defence and set up Betham with a long pass for the wing to touch down in the corner.
Machenaud and Parra traded penalties early in the second half.
Machenaud then found Dan Carter for the New Zealander’s offload to be collected out wide by Andreu, who scored a try.
Just after the reset, Carter slalomed through the Clermont defence, found Teddy Thomas who then set up Palu for Racing’s third try as the hosts looked hapless.
They thought they could threaten a comeback, but their hopes were dashed when Remi Grosso’s try was disallowed for an accidental offside.