Racing 92 stayed in touch with Top 14 leaders Montpellier with 58-6 thrashing of Clermont Auvergne on Sunday, a game marred by a nasty head injury to 18-year-old Samuel Ezeala.
It was a dominant performance from Racing as they ran in eight tries across the 80 minutes, Clermont’s miserable defence to the title showing no signs of improving as they slipped to an eighth defeat of the season – and third in a row.
Maxime Machenaud added 18 points from the tee to wrap up the bonus-point win, but Ezeala’s premature exit soured Racing’s success.
Just before the hour the debutant winger attempted to tackle Virimi Vakatawa on the Clermont 22, but as he adjusted to bring down his rival, Ezeala’s head took the full impact.
That left him needing medical attention on the pitch – officials holding a white sheet up to obstruct the view as he received treatment – Ezeala leaving on a stretcher to a standing ovation.
Clermont later confirmed Ezeala had regained consciousness and was moving normally after time in the medical room, and will be taken to hospital for further checks.
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) January 7, 2018
Pau moved above the reigning champions thanks to an 11-10 victory over Toulouse, the French Basque side scoring all their points in the first half before clinging on to victory.
Trailing 11-3 at the break, Toulouse embarked on a comeback after Wandile Mjekevu’s try but they could not complete the job, even after Martin Puech was sent off for a tip tackle on Jean-Marc Doussain.
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