Devastating finishing in the final 10 minutes sent Racing 92 into the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals as the Parisians finally broke Munster’s brave resistance and left their hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds hanging by a slender thread.
If JJ Hanrahan is looking for anyone to cuddle him up and tell him a bedtime story, he’s kidding himself. The Munster ten should have dropped that goal to secure an unlikely win against Racing 92 last Saturday (pictured below), but you know what? Daybreak broke on Sunday morning, and again Monday.
So much for the French unpredictability. The world and its mother knew Racing 92 would take a scalpel to the side that earned a losing bonus point away to Toulon in last week’s domestic fixture and the reigning Top 14 champions duly performed significant surgery.
As Test match debuts go, Virimi Vakatawa’s was something special. It took the 23-year-old France winger just 14 minutes to mark his first international appearance with a try. It was a sweet score, too, stepping inside a defender to dot down for the opening try of France’s 23-21 victory over the Italians.
So the wait goes on. Ireland’s quest for a first World Cup semi-final appearance had never been in better hands and yet here we all are again, staring into the abyss for another four years after another deeply disappointing demise at the last-eight stage.
Argentina are at that stage of development where they are potentially both giants and giant-killers at this World Cup, and, having come up short in their attempts to stun the All Blacks last Sunday, the key objective for them in Gloucester yesterday was not to become the victims of shock.