Northampton Saints v Racing Metro Live

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Northampton Saints                          Racing Metro
Friday 18th December 19:45 GMT


Northampton Saints had surged to the head of Pool 3 in this season's European Rugby Champions Cup, after wins against the Scarlets and the Glasgow Warriors in the first two rounds of fixtures. However, last weekend they travelled to Paris, where they were put firmly in their place by Top 14 high flyers, Racing 92, who scored 5-tries on their way to a comfortable 33-3 destruction of their visitors.

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The teams meet in the reverse fixture at Franklins Gardens on Friday Evening, with the Frenchmen having seized top spot in the Pool, two points clear of the Saints, and with a game in hand. If Racing Metro can duplicate last seasons success at the Gardens, where they won by 32-8, they will complete successive season's doubles, and put themselves on the brink of qualification, whilst pushing the Saints to the point of elimination. That win was part of a run of four unbeaten away matches in the Champions Cup for the French club.

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The Northampton Saints will be bidding to end a run of four consecutive losses to French clubs in Europe's premier club tournament, while the only loss suffered by racing in their last nine fixtures in the competition, came in last season's quarter final, when they were beaten at home by just a single point at the hands of Saracens.

Posted: 24th January 2015


Top 14 club, Racing Metro, are the only one of the 20 teams in the European Rugby Champions Cup who remain unbeaten after five rounds of fixtures. However, a 19-19 draw at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea against the Ospreys, coupled with Northampton Saints try- scoring bonus points, has prevented them from seizing total control of Pool 5.

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The Saints who play host to the Parisians on Saturday at Franklin's Gardens, are locked on 19 points with their visitors, creating a winner take all situation. While the winners will progress to the quarter-finals, the losers will have to sit and wait to see if they squeeze through as one of the best runners-up. If Racing Metro take the honours at the Gardens, they will become the first French club to defeat the Saints on English soil since 2001. Since then, the Premiership club have gone 14 games unbeaten against opponents from across the English Channel.   

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Saints, who were parachuted into the Challenge Cup last season, a competition that they went on to win, beating Bath in the final, are determined to go one better than they did in 2011, when they lost the Champions Cup final to Leinster, and match the team of 2000, who became European Champions with a memorable 9-8 win against Munster at Twickenham.

Tags: European Rugby Champions Cup, Franklins Gardens, Racing Metro, Northampton Saints, Liberty Stadium
Posted: 18th December 2015

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