Glasgow Warriors beat Racing 92 to move top of group

Ali Price scores for Glasgow

European Champions Cup Pool 1: Glasgow Warriors v Racing 92
Glasgow Warriors (23) 23
Tries: Strauss, Brown, Price Con: Russell Pens: Russell 2
Racing 92 (0) 7
Try: Chauveau Con: Dambielle

Glasgow Warriors moved top of European Champions Cup Pool One with a tremendous 23-7 victory over Racing 92.

Josh Strauss and Fraser Brown powered over for first-half tries after fine work from fly-half Finn Russell, who kicked two penalties.

Scrum-half Ali Price fizzed in for a third score after 47 minutes.

But Glasgow failed to score a fourth try and earn what might have proved a vital bonus point, with Xavier Chauveau grabbing a late Racing consolation.

The defeat effectively eliminates the winless French champions from the tournament.

From the first whistle, Glasgow played with a pace, accuracy and ambition that Racing could not live with. Russell controlled things magnificently from 10, backed up wonderfully by Price, a constant menace to the visiting French.

Like Glasgow’s stunning victory in Paris last weekend, though, it was almost daft to pick out individuals when the collective was so powerful. Glasgow had bundles of ideas and found tonnes of space. They had ball-carriers by the bucketload, a dominant scrum and an all-round tempo that made Racing look like a team of old men.

The opening try, after five minutes, was a delight, beginning with Russell’s dink over the top of the Racing defence, then gathered by Tommy Seymour who fed Stuart Hogg up the left. Hogg beat one tackler, drew in another and offloaded to Strauss, who went over on his 100th appearance.

Josh Strauss scores

The second try was another pearler, Russell and Price involved again before the outstanding Brown went through a stretched and insipid Racing defence to score near the posts. Russell had missed his first conversion but made no mistake with his second. After 14 minutes, Glasgow led 12-0.

Racing were being ripped apart – they missed 21 tackles in the first half alone – and fell further behind when Russell banged over a penalty just after the half-hour. They were camped in the French half. When they shunted Racing backwards in a scrum they won another penalty soon after. Once again, Russell’s kick was good – 18-0.

Racing had one attack worthy of the name in the entire first half, Marc Andreu going close but not close enough in the left corner.

After the restart, Glasgow went again. Alex Dunbar started punching more holes in the Racing defence and with Russell playing flat as you like, the visitors were on the back foot once more.

Price, as sharp as a tack, saw his opportunity at a breakdown and went in for Glasgow’s third try, converted by Russell.

There was a response from Racing, who cleared their bench and finally won some ball. They came close to battering over on three occasions but were repelled every time. That terrific Glasgow defence would have head coach Gregor Townsend purring. Chauveau eventually broke through to score, but it was in the last minute. Too little, too late.

Racing, with three straight defeats, are now a busted flush in terms of qualification for the last eight. Glasgow, meanwhile, are bang in contention and are playing beautifully. A thunderous victory on a seismic night for the Warriors.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend: “We went at them right from the kick-off in defence and when we got ball we looked really dangerous. I felt we were dominant for 40, 50 minutes, and the atmosphere here was great.

“It was one of those special nights, but we’ve still got a bit to work on. That last 30 minutes we need to be better, especially when we come up against Munster in a few weeks’ time.”

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Sam Johnson, Lee Jones, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray (capt), Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: Corey Flynn, Alex Allan, Sila Puafisi, Brian Alainu’uese, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont.

Racing 92: Brice Dulin, Teddy Thomas, Casey Laulala, Anthony Tuitavke, Marc Andreu, Dan Carter, Maxime Machenaud (capt); Viliamu Afatia, Camille Chat, Ben Tameifuna, Gerbrandt Grobler, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Chris Masoe, Leone Nakarawa.

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Eddy Ben Arous, Cedate Gomes Sa, Thibault Dubarry, Antoine Claassen, Xavier Chauveau, Benjamin Dambielle, Joe Rokocoko.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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