Munster honour Foley with Racing rout
REPORT: Munster paid a scintillating tribute to former coach Anthony Foley by routing Racing92 32-7 to edge closer to the European Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
It had been the untimely death on the eve of this Round One fixture in October that forced the game to be re-arranged and Munster responded with a passion-packed performance that took them to the top of the pool, three points clear of Glasgow.
The Irish side picked up a third win in four outings as they put last season's beaten finalists and the reigning French champions to the sword.
It took the Irish side a mere 54 minutes to bag a bonus point as they put in the perfect performance to honour the memory of their former captain and coach, Foley.
Racing fell to their fourth successive defeat in the pool as they fell to their heaviest Champions Cup defeat. The 31-point losing margin was six points worse than they had ever suffered before.
Munster dominated the opening quarter and it took some excellent home defence to keep them at bay. The first points came from the boot of Munster's flyhalf Tyler Bleyendaal with a penalty after 14 minutes and the nerves of the visiting fans were soothed by three tries before the break.
Simon Zebo crossed for the opening try, his 50th for Munster in all matches, and then Man of the Match CJ Stander raced almost 20 metres for the next one. On the stroke of half-time, Conor Murray clipping a grubber kick along the right-hand touchline that popped up perfectly for Andrew Conway, as he ran down the line and a third Munster try was confirmed by the TMO.
Bleyendaal took his first half tally up to 10 points with a second conversion to add to his earlier two penalties and Munster were well on their way.
It took a mere 14 minutes of the second half before outstanding hooker Niall Scannell drove over from a five metre line-out for the bonus-point try, which Bleyendaal again converted.
That it was it for Munster, although they continued to dominate proceedings, but there was a slight sting in the tail as Racing salvaged some pride with a try from back row forward Mathieu Voisin, which Dan Carter converted.
For Racing 92:
Tries: Zebo, Stander, Conway, N Scannell
Cons: Bleyendaal 3
Pens: Bleyendaal 2
Racing 92: 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Anthony Tuitavake, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Benjamin Dambielle, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Mathieu Voisin, 6 Chris Masoe, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Khatchik Vartanov.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Ali Williams, 20 So'otala Fa'aso'o, 21 James Hart, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Henry Chavancy.
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christian Stander, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Keith Earls, 23 Francis Saili.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)