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Jonny Sexton hauled off as Racing Metro start season with a win

There was late drama with a TMO decision going against the Irishman’s side to deny them a bonus point.

Sexton set up a try but only kicked three from six.
Sexton set up a try but only kicked three from six.
Image: ©INPHO/Harold Cunningham

JONNY SEXTON WAS wayward from the kicking tee but his winning streak continued in France. The Irishman’s new side, Racing Metro side toughed it out against Brive to win 19-14 in the Top 14.

The Parisian club got off to a great start on 10 minutes when fullback Benjamin Lapeyre raced in the opening try of the game. The creator of the try was the former Leinster outhalf as he made a great break and teed his teammate in for a simple score after a perfectly weighted diagonal chip.

Sexton added the conversion to make it 7-0 before Brive’s Malakai Bakaniceva tagged five points back with a bustling try.

Sexton’s second effort was more straightforward. From directly in front of the posts, he chipped over. The penalty came after good pressure from the Racing forwards, specifically Jaques Cronje.

Brive showed a lot of fight and had the better of the home pack for much of the afternoon at scrum time. Nonetheless, the next scoring chance fell to Sexton on 27 minutes but his attempt was off target. He looked to have made amends on 39 minutes when the linesman spotted some rough-house tactics from the combative Brive forwards. The home fans cheered but the officials waved the effort off and the score remained 10-5 at the beak.

Brive started the second half well and were rewarded when Gaetan Germain slotted over a penalty to make it 10-8.

There was a major spat soon after when Sexton was taken out off the ball and required treatment. He addressed a penalty attempt from 30 metres soon after and stretched his side’s lead. He got another chance two minutes later [51] but his kick failed to split the posts.

Gaetan then slotted over an epic, steepling penalty attempt from nigh on 60 metres to make it 13-11. Racing’s coaches, including Ronan O’Gara, called Sexton ashore and replaced him with Jonathan Wisniewski.

The substitute proved his coaches astute by slotting over his first penalty attempt, after 61 minutes, which was 30 metres out and to the right of the posts. He added another on 72 minutes to make it 19-11. Brive’s Laurent Ferreres’s brilliant drop goal made it a one-score game on 76 minutes but it was Racing that dominated the final minutes.

They thought they secured a bonus point win but after a TMO video review wait over almost five minutes, the score was chalked off. Head coach Laurent Travers was not a happy man but Racing got the first win of the new term.

As for Sexton, it is back to the training ground with coach O’Gara to practice his placed kicks.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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