European Champions Cup: Racing 92 7-32 Munster
|European Champions Cup|
|Racing 92 (0) 7|
|Try: Voisin Con: Carter|
|Munster (25) 32|
|Tries: Zebo, Stander, Conway, N. Scannell Cons: Bleyendaal (3) Pens: Bleyendaal (2)|
Munster scored four tries to thrash Racing 92 in the European Champions Cup tie rearranged after the death of their head coach Anthony Foley in October.
Simon Zebo, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway all touched down as the visitors led 25-0 at the break in Paris.
Niall Scannell dived over to secure the bonus point before Matthieu Voisin scored a consolation try for the much-changed French champions.
Victory moves Munster top of Pool 1, three points clear of Glasgow Warriors.
The Irish side have now won nine out of 10 competitive games since the sudden death of Foley at their team hotel prior to the original date of this fixture.
They face Pro12 rivals Glasgow at Scotstoun next Saturday before the return leg in Limerick on 21 January against last year's runners-up Racing, who are still without a point in this season's competition.
Fitting for Foley
The significance of the match was marked at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir with the home side - led by former Munster fly-half and current Racing coach Ronan O'Gara - wearing red shirts with Foley's name and the number eight on the back for their pre-game warm-up.
The Racing fans also raised a banner of Foley's nickname 'Axel', while there were 30 seconds of applause prior to kick-off.
Fittingly in honour of back-row forward Foley, Munster's pack dominated both the scrum and the line-out from the start, with number eight Stander scoring a remarkable try to cap a man-of-the-match performance.
After charging down Benjamin Dambielle's attempted clearance for Rory Scannell to gather, Stander rejoined the line to hand-off Racing flanker Chris Masoe on the 22 and maintain his momentum over the try line despite the attentions of two defenders.
A fine showing from the Munster pack continued after the break, as hooker Niall Scannell touched down from the back of a rolling maul for the bonus-point try.
50 for Zebo
Both sides made extensive changes for this tie but with perhaps differing aims - Racing moving fly-half Dan Carter to the bench and resting several stars, while Munster were able to recall wing Zebo and scrum-half Conor Murray,
Building on the control exerted by their pack, the Ireland international pair routinely threatened with ball in hand as Murray's miss-pass set Zebo free to score his 50th try for Munster and their 400th in European competition.
Murray was also involved for his side's third try on the brink of half-time, running down the blind side of a maul and putting in a grubber kick to the corner for Conway to collect and finish.
The only blemish on Munster's performance came when Murray and Zebo failed to field substitute Carter's grubber kick, with Racing full-back Juan Imhoff able to kick ahead and Voisin gathering to score.
Yet the visitors eased through the final stages to set up a potential Pool-deciding clash with Glasgow next weekend.
Racing 92: Imhoff; Rokocoko, Laulala, Tuitavake, Thomas; Dambielle, Chauveau; Vartanov, Chat, Ducalcon, Grobler, Van Der Merwe, Masoe, Voisin, Claassen.
Replacements: Chavancy for Laulala (57), Carter for Thomas (57), Brugnaut for Vartanov (51), Lacombe for Chat (51), Gomes Sa for Ducalcon (51), Williams for Van Der Merwe (62), Fa'aso'o for Masoe (57).
Not Used: Hart.
Munster: Zebo; Conway, Taute, R. Scannell, R. O'Mahony; Bleyendaal, Murray; Cronin, N. Scannell, J. Ryan, D. Ryan, B. Holland, P. O'Mahony, O'Donnell, Stander.
Replacements: Saili for Taute (56), Earls for R. O'Mahony (56), Archer for Murray (66), Kilcoyne for Cronin (56), Marshall for N. Scannell (62), Williams for J. Ryan (66), Foley for D. Ryan (74), O'Donoghue for O'Donnell (48).
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU).