European Champions Cup: Racing 92 14-23 Glasgow

Racing wing Juan Imhoff is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley (left) and Tommy Seymour
Glasgow showed tremendous composure in defence and attack in Paris
European Rugby Champions Cup Pool One
Racing 92 (7) 14
Tries: Imhoff, Carter Cons: Carter 2
Glasgow (13) 23
Tries: Dunbar, Price Cons: Russell 2 Pens: Russell 3

Glasgow gave their European Champions Cup qualification hopes a huge boost with victory over Racing 92 in Paris.

An early converted try from Juan Imhoff put the hosts in front but two Finn Russell penalties cut the gap to one.

The Warriors repelled several Racing line-out drives and a patient attack saw Alex Dunbar put through to score.

Ali Price touched down from close in on the resumption, Russell's conversion and a third penalty taking Glasgow 23-7 clear before Dan Carter's late try.

But the All Blacks great could not muster a late turnaround for last year's beaten finalists and French champions Racing, who are pointless after two games.

Victory - only their eighth from 54 away games in Europe's elite competition - keeps Glasgow second behind leaders Munster in Pool One ahead of next Friday's return fixture against Racing at Scotstoun.

Racing out the blocks

Glasgow came under the cosh almost immediately, the hosts' slick handling and off-loading out of the tackle taking them to the brink of the Warriors line within two minutes, but Price's tackle on Joe Rokocoko kept Racing out.

The reprieve lasted all of five minutes. Former All Blacks wing Rokocoko broke through from his own half and took his team into the red zone.

The ball was recycled and Warriors ran out of defenders as Imhoff went over in the corner. Carter converted but Russell opened Glasgow's account with a penalty moments later.

Juan Imhoff scores the opening try for Racing
Imhoff touched down in the seventh minute as Racing dominated early on

Glasgow click into gear

It was hard not to marvel at the home side's tempo and guile, but Glasgow soon served to remind us that they have some special players in their ranks too.

Russell executed a planned move to perfection, holding the defence with dummy runners from either side before slipping a pass to Tommy Seymour. The Scotland wing tore through the gap and Stuart Hogg was only denied a try by some good scramble defence.

The attack did eventually yield another three points from the boot of Russell, but it perhaps should have been more.

The visitors were unrecognisable from the team that had lost three Pro12 matches on the bounce and on the half-hour they broke through.

Again Russell held the defensive line long enough for centre Dunbar to run a dream of a line to crash through the midfield and dive over. Russell landed the extras to put Warriors 13-7 up going into the break.

Russell was revelling in direct combat against the legend that is Carter, the all-time leading points scorer in Test rugby, and he was instrumental as Glasgow stretched their lead early in the second half.

The Scotland fly-half weaved through the French defence and when the ball was recycled just short of the try-line, scrum-half Price burrowed over to score. Russell's conversion gave Warriors a deserved 20-7 advantage.

Warriors stifle Racing stars

Racing 92 lock Leone Nakarawa wins a line-out against Glasgow's Jonny Gray
Ex-Glasgow star Leone Nakarawa had a quiet game for Racing but his old second-row partner Jonny Gray was outstanding

The home side, with their array of stars, seemed devoid of ideas in the face of Glasgow's ferocious defence. They kept Racing pinned back in their own territory, and as the French superstars failed to trouble the scoreboard, it was easy to forget the likes of Carter and former Glasgow totem Leone Nakarawa were on the pitch.

Russell struck again with the boot to put further daylight between the sides at 23-7 with 14 minutes left, but Carter produced a flash of the old magic to collect an off-load and side-step his way past Hogg to stretch and touch down. He converted his own try and Glasgow had seven minutes to protect a nine-point lead.

They did so comfortably, safe in the knowledge they had all the tools to repel even one of Europe's finest teams.

They have given their Champions Cup campaign a huge shot in the arm, and if they can repeat the trick against Racing on home soil next week, they will be in a terrific position to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time.

Post-match reaction:

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend told BBC Scotland: "After their first try, I thought the way we played was great. We took them on with ball in hand and we also fronted up defensively.

"They have some brilliant attacking players and we knew the game would be open. We had to take our opportunities which we did, especially the one after half-time, and then we had to defend well, which we certainly did in the second half.

"It has got to be right up there [in terms of results during Townsend's time in charge]. The Pro12 final win (in 2015) was a stand-out - the guys delivered in a game that really counted for something. Today counted for a lot, the opposition was outstanding and they delivered so it is probably the next best after the Pro12 final."


Racing 92: Brice Dulin, Joe Rokocoko, Casey Laulala, Anthony Tuitavake, Juan Imhoff, Dan Carter, Maxime Machinaud; Eddy Ben Arous, Dimitri Szarzewski, Cedate Gomes Sa, Manuel Carizza, Leone Nakarawa, Wenceslas Lauret, Antoine Claasen, Yannick Nyanga.

Replacements: Camille Chat (for Szarzewski, 54), Viliamu Afatia (for Ben Arous, 54), Luc Ducalcon (for Gomes Sa, 54), Gerbrandt Grobler (for Nakarawa, 54), Chris Masoe (for Nyanga, 64), Xavier Chauveau (for Machenaud, 67), Albert Vulivuli (for Tuitavake, 62).

Not used: Benjamin Dambielle.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Sam Johnson, Lee Jones, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Simone Favaro, Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: Corey Flynn (for Brown, 57), Alex Allan (for Reid, 64), Sila Puafisi (for Fagerson, 54), Brian Alainu'uese (for Swinson, 76), Josh Strauss (for Harley, 63), Henry Pyrgos (for Price, 57), Mark Bennett (for Johnson, 57),

Not used: Sean Lamont.

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU)

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