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Imhoff double sees Racing past Leicester

Two tries from Argentina wing Juan Imhoff moved French side Racing 92 a step closer to the last eight of the European Champions Cup with a hard-fought 34-11 win over Leicester at Welford Road on Sunday.

Racing 92’s Argentinian wing Juan Imhoff (R) shakes hands with Leicester Tigers’ English wing Adam Thompstone (2L) following the European Champions Cup Pool 4 rugby union match between Leicester Tigers and Racing 92 at Welford Road in Leicester, central England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

A week after they beat Tigers 36-26 indoors in Paris, Racing showed they could perform in the cold outdoors on grass with four tries in a bonus point win that leaves them top of Pool 4 with four wins from four, five points ahead of Ulster.

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It was an eighth successive defeat for Leicester in all competitions and means they cannot win the group and are effectively out of contention for the last eight.

Leicester fly-half George Ford opened the scoring with a penalty after just six minutes but the home side were quickly on the back foot as Racing scrum-half Teddy Iribarren wriggled over from close range.

Shortly after, Ireland wing Simon Zebo, playing at full-back for Racing, broke through the midfield and created an overlap for Imhoff who skated through for his first try.

Ford and Finn Russell exchanged penalties but midway through the half Racing had their third try, this time a sharp break from Russell creating the space for Bernard Le Roux to break for the line. The flanker was tackled just short but popped the ball up for France wing Virimi Vakatawa.

Trailing 24-6, the Tigers began to show their claws, Manu Tuilagi bursting past the Racing defence and threading the ball to Adam Thompstone. Zebo came across with the tackle but George Worth scooped up to dive over.

Either side of half-time, Leicester spurned two penalties going for the corner on both occasions and coming back with nothing.

Russell converted another penalty to stretch the lead for Racing who welcomed back scrum-half Maxime Machenaud in the second half, the France scrum-half making his first appearance since a severe knee injury against Munster in April.

Racing waited until the last minute of the game to put Imhoff through for his second try, securing the all-important bonus point.


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