Racing 92 29-7 Castres: Imhoff sees red as Racing win Champions Cup clash
Last Updated: 16/12/17 5:55pm
Racing 92 kept alive their European Champions Cup quarter-final hopes by claiming a comfortable 29-7 Pool 4 victory over Castres in Paris.
The bonus-point win moved them level on points with group leaders Munster, and was secured thanks to tries from Leone Nakarawa, Virimi Vakatawa, Dimitri Szarzewski and Louis Dupichot, while Maxime Machenaud added a penalty and two conversions, and Teddy Iribaren one conversion.
Rory Kockott converted his own try for Castres, but Racing won comfortably despite having their Argentina international wing Juan Imhoff sent off for a headbutt in the second half.
Racing lost the reverse fixture 16-13 last weekend, but they were quick out of the blocks this time around as they took a fifth-minute lead with Nakawara diving over for a try which was converted Machenaud.
It was 14-0 10 minutes later when Racing produced a superb driving lineout with winger Vakatawa throwing himself into it and being rewarded with a try.
Machenaud added the conversion and a 25th-minute penalty before Kockott's 31st-minute try, after he charged down a clearance kick, opened Castres' account.
Kockott converted his own try to reduce the deficit to 17-7 at half-time.
Castres were unable to make any further inroads into Racing's lead, though, and replacement Szarzewski extended the hosts' advantage on the hour when he finished off another driving maul.
The big talking point of the game came shortly afterwards when Kockott was yellow carded for a bizarre tackle on Iribaren as he held him upside-down in the air, with Imhoff seeing red for a headbutt on Kockott in the ensuing melee.
Despite being reduced to 14 men, it was Racing who scored again with 10 minutes remaining when winger Dupichot clinched the bonus point with their fourth try.