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Racing 92 qualified for its third European Cup final in five years, beating the English club Saracens (19-15), defending champion, in the semi-final Saturday in Nanterre on Saturday.
This is a feat of Racing 92! The Ile-de-France club climbed to the final of the European Cup on Saturday, September 26, succeeding in dismissing the Saracens (19-15), title holders, after a rugby match padlocked at Nanterre, Paris La Défense Arena.
Argentina winger Juan Imhoff delivered his own by scoring the only try of the game, four minutes from time. After their failures in 2016 and 2018, the Ciel et Blancs thus offered themselves a third opportunity to win their first European star.
It will be on October 17, either against the English from Exeter or against the French from Stade Toulouse, opposed in the other semi-final in England in the afternoon (4.30 p.m. French time).
A success on the wire
In this very closed meeting, the sky and white club was able to meet the challenge of the closed scrum imposed by the Sarries, a week after having achieved a clear success in Clermont (36 to 27). His lack of consistency in the aerial game did not ultimately penalize him, as his defense and his patience were admirable.
Several hand errors from Ile-de-France (Simon Zebo, Teddy Thomas, Camille Chat) gave the English club some opportunities. But Racing 92 held on for forty minutes thanks to their hardness in defense and the strength of their pack of forwards (9-6 at halftime).
After returning from the locker room. Alex Goode, surgical foot, allowed the Sarries to widen a gap (9-15). But Racing 92 reacted admirably in the last quarter of an hour. Maxime Machenaud, entered in place of Iribaren, brought his team closer (12-15) which created a great opportunity on a breathtaking breakthrough from Virimi Vakatawa ten minutes from time.
The young forwards, who came into play, like Hassane Kolingar brought freshness and made the Sarries sweat, who ended up giving in four minutes from the end, thanks to Imhoff alone, well launched by Finn Russell (19-15) .
In the other semi-final. Stade Toulousain, impressive ease against the Irish Ulster (36-8) last Sunday, challenges Exeter, leader of the English championship, with the ambition to return to the final, ten years after his fourth and last title in the competition.