By moving on the lawn of Brive, penultimate of the Top 14 at the kick-off of this ninth day and without any returning international to fill his ranks, the vice-champion of Europe normally had little to fear. Especially since Racing 92 – without four of its internationals (Chat, Le Roux, Vakatawa, Thomas and Imhoff) nor its opener Finn Russel, injured -, had not lost at the Amédée-Domenech stadium since 2016, where he remained on a three-game winning streak.
What you must remember :
And yet, nothing went as planned in Corrèze. After less than a minute and a half of play, the Brivists and Enzo Hervé had already pierced the defense of the Ile-de-France region, allowing Hayden Thompson-Stringer to flatten (2nd, 7-0). In front of the Corréziens, Racingmen not yet got off the bus will have taken a good quarter of an hour to react. Maxime Machenaud’s foot timidly relaunched the machine (17th, 13-3), before Donovan Taofifénua scored his 3rd try this season just after the break (41st, 16-10). The Ile-de-France revolt was launched in a second act much more consistent than the first.
The abhorrent winner of Pau (24-22) last Saturday, seven days after falling in Castres (28-26), Racing de Laurent Travers finished overthrowing deserving Brivists, who cracked on the last action of Fabien Sanconnie ( 80th, 19-23). The Racingmen have shown bravery to strengthen their fifth place and not get out of the front car, while Brive, with this third consecutive loss at home, remains penultimate.
The duel: Laranjeira better than Machenaud
Amédée-Domenech was also the scene of a scorers’ clash on Saturday night. And in this little game, it was Thomas Laranjeira who was the most consistent, holding a perfect 4/4 with the tip of his right foot. Insufficient to create a sufficient gap, while Maxime Machenaud, he stopped at 3/4 before his exit in the 60th.
The number: 4
The Brivists should not lose, they who remained on a series of four defeats in a row with as many offensive bonuses conceded. But, since October 2 against Pau (19-13), victory always eludes them.