Heineken Champions Cup: Racing 92 sweep aside Edinburgh 56-3 to reach last eight

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland
Racing 92's Camille Chat charges towards the Edinburgh line
Camille Chat (centre) was a driving force for Racing
Heineken Champions Cup
Racing 92 (20) 56
Tries: Chat, Machenaud, Joseph, Gogichashvili, Thomas (2), Trinh-Duc Cons: Machenaud (2), Iribaren (4) Pen: Machenaud (2), Gibert
Edinburgh (3) 3
Pen: Kinghorn

Racing 92 overpowered Edinburgh to reach the Champions Cup quarter-finals for the fifth season in a row.

The Scots went toe-to-toe with their French hosts early on as Blair Kinghorn matched Maxime Machenaud's penalty.

But tries from Camille Chat and Maxime Machenaud put last year's beaten finalists in control.

Further touchdowns from Machenaud, Jordan Joseph, Guram Gogichashvili, Teddy Thomas and Francois Trinh-Duc ensured an emphatic win for the hosts.

A painful defeat for Edinburgh ends Scotland's involvement in Europe this season after Glasgow Warriors' Challenge Cup loss to Montpellier on Friday.

Few pundits gave Edinburgh much hope of beating a side sitting third in the French Top 14.

However, the visitors were able to add returning Scotland internationals to a side sitting second bottom of the Pro14's Conference B and knew they had faired well against French sides in the recent past.

The battle of the fly-halves was intriguing. Racing were without suspended Scotland star Finn Russell, with Antoine Gibert replacing him, while Richard Cockerill sprung a surprise by choosing Scotland full-back Blair Kinghorn ahead of Jaco van der Walt, their leading points scorer in Europe this season.

It looked to be wise decision as Edinburgh started briskly, but the visitors will look back wistfully on two early missed opportunities.

Almost immediately from the kick-off, Duhan van der Merwe's pass to Damian Hoyland went into touch with clear grass awaiting, then James Johnstone burst in under the posts only to be pulled back for a knock-on following a Jamie Ritchie fumble in the maul.

Up stepped Chat with a lung-busting run to within 10 metres of the Edinburgh line - and that sparked Racing into life.

While Edinburgh thwarted that move, the next penalty set the hosts on their way despite Machenaud's kick being teed-up barely inside the visitors' half.

When Racing were penalised for not rolling away, Kinghorn scored from in front of the posts.

Another long-range Machenaud penalty struck an upright, but the hosts were not thwarted for long.

Chat pounced on a wayward Edinburgh line-out before the hooker also finished the spell of pressure by powering over beneath the posts, with Machenaud supplying the easy conversion.

Edinburgh were still well in the game, but a superb bit of handling involving Virimi Vakatawa, Joseph and Louis Dupichot fed Machenaud to score, with the scrum-half adding the extras.

The visitors were still not down and out and were again left wondering what might have been as the ball was held up after they burst over the Racing line in the final move of the first half.

However, Joseph and Gogichashvili both powered over after the break following a Gilbert penalty, with Teddy Iribaren adding the conversions.

Thomas, twice, and Trinh-Duc touched down in the corner as Edinburgh wilted, having conceded four tries in the closing 12 moments of a miserable defeat.

What they said

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill told BBC Radio Scotland: "We started well, we had a good intent, we had a couple of chances early on which we didn't take.

"But once Racing got into their rhythm we just couldn't cope with them physically. They were just too strong and too good.

"They are a much better team than us. They have some star quality and they are a well put together team. We've had a lot of guys away and they looked a little weary after Test duty.

"They were too good for us and we got what we deserved. We have to realise those facts and get better."

Line-ups

Racing 92: Beale, Thomas, Vakatawa, Chavancy, Dupichot, Gibert, Machenaud, Ben Arous, Chat, Gomes Sa, B. Le Roux, Ryan, Diallo, Chouzenoux, Joseph.

Replacements: Baubigny, Gogichashvili, Oz, Bird, Palu, Iribaren, Trinh-Duc, Zebo.

Edinburgh: Hoyland, Graham, Johnstone, Taylor, Van Der Merwe, Kinghorn, Pyrgos, Schoeman, Cherry, Nel, Bradbury, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Mata.

Replacements: Willemse, Venter, McCallum, Kunavula, Crosbie, Shiel, Van Der Walt, Bennett.

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)

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