Racing score nine tries to thrash Scarlets 64-14 in Paris
Scores from Juan Imhoff, Casey Laulala (2), Antonie Claassen and Louis Dupichot give Racing a 38-0 lead at half-time
DTH van der Merwe and Gareth Davies touched down for the visitors after the restart
Further scores from Imhoff and Johan Goosen put the Top 14 side clear before Laulala completed his hat-trick
Casey Laulala touched down a hat-trick as Racing Metro guaranteed home advantage in next round of Champions Cup after a convincing 64-14 victory against Scarlets on Sunday.
The Paris-based side will have to be one of tournament favourites if they keep playing like this as they ran in an impressive five tries for the bonus point in the opening 40 with Kiwi fly-half Dan Carter converting each of them to establish a 38-0 lead at the break.
Juan Imhoff went over for the first score before Antonie Claassen, Louis Dupichot and a brace from Casey Laulala completed the first half total.
It was a chastening afternoon for the Pro 12 leaders but they did themselves no favours with individual mistakes meaning they found themselves down to 13 men at one point during the first half after Maselino Paulina and DTH van der Merwe were both sent to the bin.
Scarlets though did respond after the restart with van der Merwe and Gareth Davies running in consolation scores, but Racing replied with a penalty try before Imhoff’s second took the French side beyond a half century of points, 52-14.
Try number eight from Johan Goosen soon followed before Laulala completed his hat-trick to cap an extraordinary scoreline and a home quarter-final for Racing.
After taking maximum points against Glasgow Warriors last weekend, it was no surprise that Racing opened the scoring with a penalty from the ever reliable boot of Carter.
Breathtaking play from the French side’s backline then saw the hosts open the try-scoring after 13 minutes through Imhoff. The Puma wing beat his opposite number to create the space before staying on his feet to receive the final pass from Dupichot to dive over. Carter then slotted the simple conversion, 10-0.
Things then went from bad to worse for Scarlets as they lost gigantic Samoan Maselino Paulina is to the bin for a high swinging arm on Yannick Nyanga.
Racing then continued to press, and Scarlets found themselves in disciplinary trouble again when DTH van der Merwe saw yellow for a tip tackle, reducing the visitors to 13 men.
With the two-man advantage, Casey Laulala scored the hosts second try after 25 minutes. Carter then did the business again by adding the conversion, 17-0.
Try number three for the French came just two minutes later as the Scarlets were being simply being overwhelmed in the French capital. Brice Dulin started off the move with a searing break out of his own half before an inch perfect kick from Dan Carter was caught by the leaping Claasens, who went over to force the ball down in the corner. The three-time world player of the year Carter then added the extras from the touchline to give the Paris-based side a 24-point lead.
The bonus-point try for Racing then came after 34 minutes as Dupichot jinx his way through the red wall of defence to run 70 metres to dot down. Carter then added the routine conversion from in front of the posts, 31-0.
Laulala then added his second just before the break, running across the field before cutting through the Scarlets defence to go under the posts. Carter then brought the curtain down upon a dominant first half with yet another successful conversion, 38-0
Carter then brought the curtain down upon a dominant first half with yet another successful conversion, 38-0
Scarlets began the second half a lot better with a beautiful line from Paulino allowing him to race away before offloading to Van Der Merwe, who paced over for the score just two minutes after the restart. Shingler then added the extras, 38-7.
The hosts were then reduced to 14-men for persistent infringements with Mike Phillips seeing yellow after the scrum-half failed to roll away. Phillips opposite number Davies would then be the one to profit from his absence, sniping off the back of a rolling maul to crash down to the left of the posts on 50 minutes. Shingler then slotted the simple conversion between the posts, 38-14.
Despite being a man down, six minutes later Racing responded with their routine, robust lineout drive, which resulted in a penalty try after the Scarlets dragged it to the ground. Dulin then slotted the extras from in front of the posts, 45-14.
The next try came soon after in the 59th minute as Argentine Imhoff completed his brace. The winger received a fantastic offload from replacement Henry Chavancy to race over and touch down between the posts with fullback Dulin again adding the extras from the tee.
Goosen then went over for try number eight after — minutes in the corner after some quick ball and pinpoint accurate passing gives them the overlap on the outside. The replacement then attempted to convert his own score but saw his effort drift wide of the right post, 57-14.
RUCK Man of the match Laulala then finished the game off as he crashed over for a well-deserved hat-trick and Racing’s 9th try of the game. Hoosen then knocked over the conversion to complete the games scoring, 64-14.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Racing Metro: Casey Laulala
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Chris Masoe, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Henry Chavancy, 23 Johan Goosen.
Scarlets: 15 Mike Collins, 14 Steff Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Rory Pitman, 5 Maselino Paulino, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Tom Price, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Steff Hughes.
Date: Sunday, January 17
Venue: Stade Yves du Manoir
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)