Simon Zebo hails Racing’s last-gasp win over Scarlets
Winger believes success in Wales will give side ‘unbelievable momentum’
Racing 92 winger Simon Zebo claims the ball as Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes closes in during the Champions Cup match at Parc y Scarlets. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images
Scarlets 13 Racing 92 14
Racing 92 wing Simon Zebo said the French side would take “unbelievable momentum” from their last-gasp victory away to Scarlets in their Heineken Champions Cup opener.
Racing came from behind to beat Scarlets 14-13 in a game which turned on one incident at the end when referee Matthew Carley awarded the French side a penalty try and sent Scarlets scrumhalf Gareth Davies to the sin bin.
“Momentum is funny thing,” said Zebo, whose new team host Ulster in Paris next Saturday. “That is unbelievable momentum. For us was to start off a European campaign with a win is huge.”
On the penalty try, he said: “I think it was the momentum we had. I think it was pretty obvious we were going over [the line] had they not sacked the maul, so I can understand the ref’s decision.”
Racing found themselves trailing for much of the match and especially in the second half.
“We were disappointed we didn’t start the second half as well as we wanted to, but we stuck in there and one or two things went our way,” added Zebo.
“We were in the game and we probably shouldn’t have been, but we showed great character.
“Conditions didn’t allow either side to play expansive rugby. The ball was like a bar of soap out there. So it ended up as a kick-fest.
“We are happy we got the luck of the bounce this time, but Scarlets are a quality side and they will bounce back.”
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said: “I haven’t seen the [penalty try] incident or had a chance to speak to the players about it.
“We have just talked about how disappointed we were and how we have got six days to turn it around and kickstart our campaign [at Leicester].
“The story for us was the first half – just too many unforced errors and not enough possession and territory. We were well behind on those stakes.
“To be 3-0 right on half-time we were happy to go in with that scoreline, but we let in a soft one which was disappointing.
“I thought we did enough in the second half. The crowd got back into the game. We hit the front again and at that stage it was about being patient and keeping the ball in their half of the field.
“We need to go back and review that last 10 minutes – too many penalties and turnovers to let them back in our half and let them get that penalty try.
“When it’s a six-point game you never feel comfortable because there are too many quality players on the field. You are never comfortable until the final whistle.
“We just have to look at the mistakes we made and the discipline towards the end.
On the Scarlets’ trip to Leicester next Friday, Pivac added: “We have got to have a very good week and make sure we don’t make some of the errors we made this week.”