April 1, 2018 / 2:34 PM / 25 days ago

Rugby-Racing down Clermont to reach Champions Cup semi-finals

CLERMONT FERRAND, France, April 1 (Reuters) - Racing 92 recovered from a shaky start to beat fellow French club Clermont 28-17 away and secure their spot in the last four of the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Racing, who quickly trailed 9-0, prevailed thanks to tries by Leone Nakarawa, Marc Andreu and Boris Palu with Maxime Machenaud adding three penalties and two conversions.

Three-times runners-up Clermont replied with four penalties by Morgan Parra and Peter Betham’s try.

Racing will face Munster in Bordeaux on the weekend of April 21/22 for a place in the final.

Clermont opened a 9-0 lead thanks to three penalties by Parra, but Nakarawa reduced the arrears when he dived over after unsettling the hosts’ defence with a fine dummy pass.

Machenaud converted and put the visitors ahead with a penalty just after the half hour.

But Racing lost focus and were immediately punished.

Parra found space in the Racing defence and set up Betham with a long pass for the wing to touch down in the corner.

Machenaud and Parra traded penalties early in the second half.

Machenaud then found Dan Carter for the New Zealander’s offload to be collected out wide by Andreu, who scored a try.

Just after the reset, Carter slalomed through the Clermont defence, found Teddy Thomas who then set up Palu for Racing’s third try as the hosts looked hapless.

They thought they could threaten a comeback, but their hopes were dashed when Remi Grosso’s try was disallowed for an accidental offside.

Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis

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