Racing 92 27-22 Munster: Parisians book Champions Cup final place with Bordeaux win
Last Updated: 23/04/18 6:40am
A slick and resolute Racing proved too much for a Munster side sorely lacking in intensity and invention for far too long in Bordeaux on Sunday, as the Top 14 outfit booked a place in the Champions Cup final in Bilbao with a 27-22 victory.
Racing, and Teddy Thomas in particular, ran riot in the first half as the wing scored two tries and gave another to Maxime Machenaud over the tryline, with the Racing scrum-half also notching two penalties in the victory.
For Munster, nothing went right and they only fired their shots late in the second period with tries through Simon Zebo, Rhys Marshall and Andrew Conway, with Robin Copeland perhaps unfortunate to have a potential score ruled out due to a forward pass call.
Racing will now face Leinster in the Champions Cup final in Bilbao on May 12, while Munster must accept a sixth consecutive semi-final defeat in Europe.
In the heat of Bordeaux's Chaban Delmas stadium, Racing went ahead after five minutes when Thomas finished in the corner after good work by the forwards.
Machenaud converted and after Ian Keatley slotted a penalty for Munster, the France scrum-half was soon converting another try by Thomas who was perfectly set up by Virimi Vakatawa.
Munster could not deal with their opponents' pace and power and fell further behind after a handling error by Alex Wootton allowed the home side to burst through the defence again.
Thomas unselfishly passed the ball to Machenaud, who touched down and converted to give Racing an 18-point lead midway through the first half and he added two more penalties before the interval.
Munster did not capitulate, however, but neither did they score when they absolutely needed to; a prolonged period of pressure before half-time a clear case in point.
After Racing were reduced to 14 when Marc Andreu picked up a yellow card for offside, they reduced the arrears with Zebo touching down in the corner after a nice team move before Marshall and Conway claimed late consolation tries.
Hooker Marshall was at the back of a rolling maul to touch down with four minutes left while full-back Conway scored in the final play of the match in a breakaway attack.