Seven-try Racing thrash Harlequins, Bears edge Connacht on virus-hit weekend

·3-min read
Simon Zebo and Racing were on top throughout against Harlequins

Racing 92 ran in seven tries as they thrashed Harlequins 49-7 on Sunday to stay with the Pool 2 pacesetters in the European Champions Cup.

Last season's runners-up gained a bonus point to join two other French clubs, Lyon and Toulouse, at the top of the 12-team pool with 10 points after two of the four rounds of games.

Racing were in control from the third minute when fullback Teddy Thomas scored in the corner.

Prop Kevin Le Guen added a second after 19 minutes after the Racing pack drove Quins back in a driving maul.

Maxime Machenaud converted both tries and kicked two penalties to put the visitors ahead 20-0 at the break but he missed three conversions in the second half.

The second half started like the first, when Racing's Irish winger Simon Zebo crossed in the corner in the first minute.

Prop Georges-Henri Colombe secured the bonus point with a try in the 49th minute.

Scottish fly-half Finn Russell chipped over the defence for centre Donovan Taofifenua who spun through a tackle to score in the 61st minute.

Scrum-half Scott Steele replied for Quins but Racing responded with two late scores.

Teddy Baubigny, who had replaced Le Guen, smashed over in the 76th minute and Francois Trinh-Duc, who had come on for Russell, trotted over two minutes later.

Trinh-Duc also converted both late tries.

"Our forwards had a lot of control in the match," Russell told British broadcaster BT.

"Our driving mauls and our scrums, always on the front foot, we're guaranteed to get good ball there.

"The whole pack create that strength and that power and I would imagine for teams that are facing us, it's quite daunting. It's a real strength."

In Sunday's late game, Bristol recorded their first win with a battling 27-18 victory at Connacht.

The Bears, who were mauled 51-38 by Clermont in last weekend's opening round, moved into sixth place in the pool, four points off the lead.

Former Leinster forward Bryan Byrne scored the only try of the opening half which ended with Bristol holding a 5-3 edge.

Ed Holmes, Piers O'Conor and Ioan Lloyd added further scores for the visitors after the interval.

Connacht, who fought gallantly in a narrow 26-22 loss to Racing last time out, are third from bottom of the pool with just a bonus point to their name.

Bristol gave a European debut to Fijian winger -- and British army soldier -- Ratu Naulago, who recently moved from Hull FC in rugby league to play union.

Leinster and Wasps lead Pool A with 10 points.

Wasps gained a hard-fought 33-14 win over Montpellier on Friday and Leinster beat Northampton Saints 35-19 on Saturday.

The weekend was, however, dominated by games that were not played.

Lyon, La Rochelle and Toulouse were awarded 28-0 victories against Glasgow Warriors, Bath and holders Exeter Chiefs after the three British clubs suffered coronavirus outbreaks.

But after Toulon refused to play at Scarlets on Friday, claiming Covid-19 "sanitary conditions were not met", the Welsh team were awarded victory.

Toulon said on Saturday they were considering appealing the decision.

pb-dj/jc