Conor Murray is tackled by Racing try-scorer Yannick Nyanga during the first half

European Champions Cup Pool 4Racing 92 (13) 34Tries: Nyanaga, Andreu, Szarzewski Cons: Machenaud 2 Pens: Machenaud 5Munster (7) 30Tries: Kleyn, Earls, Farrell Cons: Keatley 3 Pens: Keatley 2, Murray

Munster remain top of Pool Four and well placed to make the Champions Cup quarter-finals despite losing narrowly to Racing 92 in their new 4G U Arena.

Racing trail the leaders by one point going into next week’s round six games after Munster took away a bonus point.

Yannick Nyanga and Jean Kleyn scored as the hosts led 13-7 at half-time.

Marc Andreu and Dimitri Szarzewski crossed for Racing and Keith Earls and Chris Farrell for Munster but two late Maxime Machenaud penalties sealed it.

Munster, semi-finalists last season, are at home to Castres – – in their final Pool Four game next Sunday, while Racing travel to Welford Road to take on the rock bottom Tigers.

For Racing, it was a notable triumph in their first European game in their new indoor stadium, and for Munster the first defeat of their campaign.

Munster beat their French opponents 14-7 when the sides met at Thomond Park in October but it was Racing who dictated the early tempo and they were rewarded for their superiority when flanker Nyanga touched down after just three minutes.

Indiscipline proved costly for the Irish province throughout and the first of scrum-half Machenaud’s five penalties made it 10-0.

South African Kleyn barged over beside the posts midway through the half, Ian Keatley converting, but Machenaud’s kick saw his side go in with a six-point lead at the break.

Champions Cup Pool FourTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstBonus PtsPointsMunster531111984216Racing 92530210585315Castres5212108113212Leicester51059814826

Wing Andreu dived over in the corner soon after the resumption but Munster’s response was swift as Conor Murray took a quick tapped penalty and Earls sliced through the home defence and showed electrifying speed to score a stunning try.

Peter O’Mahony’s turnover set up Keatley to feed Farrell and the big Ireland centre crashed over, Keatley adding the additional two points to put Munster three in front.

Machenaud levelled with a penalty but Keatley was successful with two more kicks, before replacement hooker Szarzewski skipped over for a well worked try after a smart one-two with Nyanga at the line-out.

Machenaud’s conversion nudged the home side in front, before Murray then landed the second of two long-range penalty attempts, but Machenaud had the final say with two late three-pointers to take his personal tally to 19 points.

A tightly contested encounter then, played just days after Racing conducted with Simon Zebo on their club website that the Irish back-three player would be joining them next season.

Racing 92: L Dupichot; T Thomas, V Vakatawa, H Chavancy, M Andreu; R Tales, M Machenaud; E Ben Arous, C Chat, B Tameifuna, D Ryan, E Maka, Y Nyanga, W Lauret, L Nakarawa

Replacements: D Szarzewski, V Kakovin, C Gomes Sa, B Chouzenoux, B Palu, X Chauveau, B Dambielle, J Rokocoko

Munster: S Zebo; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, R Marshall, S Archer; J Kleyn, B Holland; P O’Mahony (capt), C Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: K O’Byrne, J Cronin, J Ryan, D O’Shea, J O’Donoghue, D Williams, JJ Hanrahan, A Wootton.


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