Racing end Toulon’s reign

Maxime Machenaud kicked a late penalty as Racing beat Toulon 19-16 in their European Champions Cup quarter-final at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir on Sunday.

The scrumhalf had missed a simple penalty attempt in the 74th minute, but he made amends with two minutes to go to set up a semi-final meeting with Leicester in Northampton on 24 April. Saracens will play Wasps in the second semi-final in Reading.

Flyhalf Dan Carter opened Racing’s account with a penalty kick and then converted wing Juan Imhoff’s intercept try.

Toulon hit back when wing Josua Tuisova broke through the defence and sent flank Charles Ollivon away for the try. Scrumhalf Jonathan Pelissie added the extras and then kicked a penalty goal to level the scores.

Pelissie then put Toulon in front with an early second-half penalty. But Machenaud, who took over the kicking from Carter, who had a thigh problem, kicked two more penalties to put Racing back in front.

Pelissie levelled the scores again with his third kick at goal, but Machenaud’s third penalty in the 78th minute proved to be the difference.

Racing 92 – Try: Juan Imhoff. Conversion: Dan Carter. Penalties: Carter, Maxime Machenaud (3).
Toulon – Try: Charles Ollivon. Conversion: Jonathan Pelissie. Penalties: Pelissie (3).

Racing 92 –  15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Subs: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Marc Andreu.

Toulon – 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Jonathan Pélissié, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Charles Ollivlon, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Manasa Paulo, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Subs: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Éric Escande, 23 Thibault Lassale.

Photo: Franck Fife/AFP Photo