European Rugby Champions Cup: Racing 92 44-12 Ulster
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Racing 92 (20) 44|
|Tries: Iribaren, Lauret, Imhoff, Thomas, Zebo Cons: Russell 4, Iribaren Pens: Russell 3|
|Ulster (12) 12|
|Tries: Shanahan, Stockdale Con: Burns|
Racing 92 recovered from a poor start to overcome Ulster with a stylish bonus-point win at La Defense Arena.
Quickfire scores from Teddy Iribaren and Wenceslas Lauret shifted the momentum in favour of the hosts after Dave Shanahan and Jacob Stockdale had crossed for excellent early scores.
Juan Imhoff, Teddy Thomas and Simon Zebo added second half tries as Racing scored 41 unanswered points.
Last year's finalists now have a four point lead at the top of Pool Four.
Although slow out of the blocks, Racing's destructive backline proved too much for Ulster to contain with Finn Russell expertly steering the ship from fly-half.
After 25 minutes Ulster were good value for their nine point lead as they proved that they too were capable of punching holes in the opposition defence.
Shanahan's try came after excellent running from Will Addison and Michael Lowry before Billy Burns delivered an exquisite cross-field kick to send Stockdale over for his third try in as many appearances this season.
|Champions Cup Pool Four|
|1. Racing 92||2||2||9|
Clinical Racing give lesson in finishing
Iribaren's try off the back of a powerful scrum instantly changed the tempo of the game with Racing finding regular quick-ball to set up camp in Ulster territory.
Russell has settled into his new team quickly since making the summer move from Glasgow, and his classy display offered the perfect platform for Racing's explosive backs to dominate proceedings.
Lauret and Imhoff both offered well-timed support runs to extend the hosts lead before Russell's sublime chip and chase was finished by Thomas.
While Racing's finishing was a strength, Ulster were guilty of spurning a number of good opportunities having done well to work their way into scoring positions.
Only a fantastic intervention from Zebo forced Stockdale into a knock-on when it looked like the talismanic wing was certain to add a third Ulster try before the interval.
Having conceded the least amount of penalties (six) of any side in the first round of the Champions Cup, Dan McFarland's side could not maintain their discipline to the same level under intense pressure from their opponents.
The result coupled with Leicester's bonus-point win over Scarlets moves Ulster down into third place in Pool Four.
Meanwhile Racing, who lie seventh in the Top 14 following a disappointing start to the season, appear to be the team to beat with four rounds of group matches remaining.
Racing 92: S Zebo; T Thomas, O Klemenczak, H Chavancy, J Imhoff, F Russell, X Chauveau; G Gogichashvili, C Chat, C Gomes Sa, D Bird, L Nakarawa, W Lauret, B Le Roux, A Claasen.
Replacements: T Baubigny, V Kakovin, C Johnston, F Sanconnie, J Joseph, T Iribaren, B Volavola, L Paris.
Ulster: M Lowry; C Gilroy, W Addison, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, D Shanahan; A Warwick, R Best (captain), M Moore, I Henderson, K Treadwell, M Coetzee, J Murphy, N Timoney.
Replacements: A McBurney, E O'Sullivan, R Kane, A O'Connor, S Reidy, J Stewart, J McPhillips, A Kernohan.
Sin bin: Timoney (15)