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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 21 April, 2018

Sexton kicks 16 points as Racing Metro draw with Scarlets

The Ireland out-half couldn’t ensure a victory for his French club in Wales.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

JONNY SEXTON SCORED 16 points as Racing Metro earned a 26-26 draw away to the Scarlets in Pool 4 of the Heineken Cup.

The Top 14 side looked to have claimed victory at the death when flanker Wenceslas Lauret touched down after Sexton had stripped possession from Scarlets No.8 Josh Turnbull. However, the TMO correctly ruled that the Irish out-half had knocked on in the process and the teams deservedly shared the points.

Racing got off to a flying start in the first half when Lauret pounced for a 5th-minute try, and with Sexton converting and adding a penalty, the away side found themselves 10-0 up after just 13 minutes of play.

The Scarlets got themselves back into the game with a rather fortunate try, an awkward kick bouncing out of Henry Chavancy’s reach and allowing Jonathan Davies to free his in-form centre partner Scott Williams to run clear to score.

The French side grew increasingly indisciplined as the first half wore on and with Dimitri Szarzewski and Fabrice Estebanez both in the sin bin, the magnificent 20-year-old scrum-half Rhodri Williams got over for a try just before the break. That left the Scarlets with a promising 20-10 lead at half time.

However, Racing were hugely determined after the interval, with No.8 Masi Matadigo dotting down from the back of a powerful scrum in the 51st minute. Sexton converted that try and added three penalties in the second 40 to counter Rhy Priestland’s two for the Scarlets.

In a gripping encounter, it seemed that Racing had stolen it in injury time, but the video footage proved to be their enemy. Still, an away draw is not a bad result for Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers’ team, who sit on six points after their opening two fixtures. The Scarlets are also on six points, with Clermont and Harlequins set to play tomorrow afternoon.

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Murray Kinsella

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