Flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert scored all of Bordeaux’s points as they beat favourites Racing 92, 24-21 in the Champions Cup quarter-final.
After the excitement of Saturday’s Heineken Cup matches, the Bordeaux vsRacing game was a disappointment in comparison. Both teams played lethargic and inaccurate rugby, showing little intent for the vast majority of the game. Racing were without star backs Virimi Vakatawa and Finn Russell and it showed in their disjointed attack.
At half-time the scoreline read 9-9 after the two sides exchanged a series of penalty kicks in a drab opening 40 minutes. The sides came out with some renewed vigour in the second half though, and both Racing 92 and Bordeaux showed flashes of trademark French flair.
Neither side could string enough phases together to cross the try line however. Jalibert’s knock-on centimetres from the line in the 57th minute was an accurate distillation of the game at large.
As the game entered it’s dying moments with the scoreline locked at 21-21, it seemed that extra-time would be a certainty. A breakdown infringement, however, gave Bordeaux one final opportunity to win the game with the clock already deep in the red.
Matthieu Jalibert stepped up to the mark and made no mistake as he sank a clutch 55m kick to win the game for Bordeaux and send them into the Heineken Cup semi-final.
It’s difficult to look past Jalibert’s performance as being the standout in the match. He made 8/9 of his kicks, including the high-pressure 55m effort which won his side the game.
In open play he was the bright spark in Bordeaux’s attack and looked the most consistently threatening player on the park. His performance is sure to please French coach Fabien Galthié.
Penalties: Jalibert (8)
Penalties: Machenaud (4), Iribaren (2), Gilbert