Racing Metro 20 Northampton 11 match report: Saints throw away the bonus point after Racing’s Andreu pounces late on

Late Foden error sees losing bonus point evade Saints

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The Independent Online

Northampton were denied a bonus point yesterday after a late aberration by England’s Ben Foden, who had a kick charged down, allowed Racing wing Marc Andreu to scamper over for a try that Johan Goosens crucially converted.

Northampton were still in touch at that stage, trailing only 13-11 after a try by replacement back-row forward Phil Dowson had brought them back into the contest.

However it was referee George Clancy who played a pivotal role, with both sides left bemused by his decisions in the scrum, as well as his failure to take more serious action over a potential gouge from Salesi Ma’afu.

Racing paid the more serious price, losing two props to sin-binnings, but Northampton looked nothing like the team that has dominated the Premiership so far this season and despite the cruel nature of the ending, probably didn’t deserve anything out of the game.

It was an unfamiliar setting for Saints, who have been paired with Castres in the pool stages in each of the last four seasons. And all too often defeats in France have proven costly in their chase for a quarter-final place, something they have not done since reaching the final in 2011.

 

Racing, meanwhile, have never really found their feet in Europe, with just seven wins from 24 games in their four Heineken Cup campaigns before this game.

They do however have a tendency to start powerfully, and they made an absolute flier here with a try after just four minutes in from their dashing in-form centre Dumoulin.

It was a stodgy opening period, and Racing should have been further ahead after controlling much of the game, but they struggled to turn that dominance into points.

Line-ups:

Racing Metro: B Dulin; J Imhoff, A Dumoulin, J Roberts, M Andreu; J Sexton (J Goosen, 73), M Machenaud (M Phillips, 60); J Brugnaut, V Lacombe, L Ducalcon, J Kruger, F Van Der Merwe (G Charteris, 42), W Lauret, B Le Roux, A Claassen.

Northampton: B Foden; K Pisi, G. Pisi (J Wilson, 55), L Burrell, G North; S Myler, K Fotuali’i (L Dickson, 55), A Waller (E Waller, 63), D Hartley (M Haywood, 63), S Ma’afu, C Lawes (J Craig, 69), C Day, T Wood, C Clark, S Manoa (P Dowson, 69).

Referee: G Clancy (Ire).

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