Finn Russell scored a sensational try in Racing 92’s 21-21 draw with Munster in Pool 4 last night, the Scotland stand-off executing an audacious nutmeg on his way to the touchdown.
The match at Thomond Park was a tale of two fly-halves, with Munster’s JJ Hanrahan and Russell key figures in the dramatic draw.
Hanrahan was ice cool when converting Andrew Conway’s 75th-minute try from the right touchline, but then snatched at a late drop-goal attempt for the win.
Leading 14-11 at half-time thanks to scores from Russell, pictured, and Teddy Thomas, Racing were on course to become the first French winners of a Champions Cup game in Limerick since Clermont Auvergne in December 2014.
Russell’s try in particular was a thing of beauty. Receiving a pass just inside the Munster 22, the Scot shaped as if to pass out wide but then sent a delicious grubber kick through the legs of his onrushing opponent and ran in for the five points.
Munster were briefly level thanks to Keith Earls’ late first-half try and JJ Hanrahan’s third successful penalty, but despite a Juan Imhoff try opening up a seven-point gap, the hosts slammed it shut through Conway and Hanrahan.
In the other Pool 4 match Saracens overwhelmed the Ospreys 44-3 but their first home match since the salary cap scandal broke was played amid a subdued atmosphere at Allianz Park. It was a return to winning ways for the Champions Cup holders after they launched their defence with a frustrating defeat at Racing 92.
Marcus Smith’s accuracy from the kicking tee – he scored four penalties – proved the difference as Harlequins beat Bath 15-9 in a tense Pool 3 encounter.
In Pool 1, Leinster withstood a fierce onslaught from Top14 leaders Lyon to grind out a hard-fought 13-6 win thanks to try from No.8 Max Deegan and a conversion and two penalties from Ireland stand-off Johnny Sexton, while Dan Biggar’s 85th-minute match-winning penalty gave Northampton a thrilling 35-32 Heineken Champions Cup victory over Benetton in Italy.
Toulouse secured a hard-fought 32-17 bonus-point victory against Connacht at the Stade Ernest-Wallon in Pool 5.