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Racing 92 will host Welsh region Scarlets this Saturday in search of topping Pool 4 in the Heineken Champions Cup at the Paris La Defense Arena. The Parisians currently sit on 21 points and a bonus-point win will guarantee the club a home quarter-final in March.
The match kicks off at 15:15 BST and is live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.
- This will be the sixth meeting between Racing 92 and Scarlets. The Welsh region were undefeated (W1, D1) in two pool stage meetings in 2013/14 but the TOP 14 outfit have won the three clashes since, including a one-point victory in Round 1.
- Racing have won their last six home games in the Champions Cup, their best ever run with those wins coming by an average margin of 17 points.
🔥 Matchs après matchs, les Ciel et Blanc se rapprochent de la qualification en Champions Cup…
Plus que 8⃣0⃣ minutes à jouer face aux @scarlets_rugby avant d'atteindre les phases finales !
— Racing 92 (@racing92) January 16, 2019
- Scarlets have lost 12 of their last 14 away games (W2), with the two wins coming against Benetton and Bath last season.
- Racing are one of just three sides in the Champions Cup yet to lose a scrum on their own feed this season (also Toulon and Toulouse).
- Scarlets’ Gareth Davies has made five try assists to date, more than any other player.
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Racing 92 have secured a home quarter-final after last season’s finalists topped Pool 4 with an entertaining victory over Scarlets, defeating the Welsh region 46-33 at Paris La Defense Arena.
The Parisians’ bonus-point win ensured they qualify for the last eight as No. 2 seeds, while Ulster Rugby also qualify from the group.
Dan Jones’ early penalty put Scarlets ahead but it did not take long for the hosts to flow into action with Finn Russell, again at the centre of all things good for Racing, delivering a perfect grubber kick in behind for Juan Imhoff to score in the corner. Maxime Machenaud, who was on kicking duties, hit the post with his conversion attempt.
However, Scarlets responded moments later with Steff Evans storming down the left-hand wing to dot down in the corner. Dan Jones added the extra couple of points from out wide.
💪 Job is done
— Racing 92 (@racing92) January 19, 2019
Then, club legend Henry Chavancy powered over on his 276th appearance for the French outfit to reduce the deficit. Machenaud made his conversion.
Fly-halves Machenaud and Jones exchanged penalties – and the lead – before the break but it was the visitors that went into half-time 16-15 ahead.
The second half continued the back-and-forth theme with Johnny McNicholl and Simon Zebo trading tries – both converted by Jones and Machenaud respectively – with Jones adding another penalty to Scarlets’ total.
Racing 92's Simon Zebo does CR7 🔥 pic.twitter.com/uRwdOLRVZ6
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 19, 2019
Despite Scarlets’ best efforts, Fijian Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Iribaren added Racing’s third and fourth try of the game to regain and extend their lead.
Ireland international Zebo scored his second try after collecting Finn Russell’s cross-field kick but Scarlets continued to cause Racing’s defence problems with Johnny McNicholl crossing over the try line after starting and finishing a counter-attack which took Scarlets the length of the pitch.
Replacement scrum-half Iribaren concluded proceedings with a successful penalty kick to a loud roar from the home crowd.