Heineken Cup Pool 4: Scarlets earn welcome win at Racing Metro
Last Updated: 10/01/14 11:11pm
Scarlets secured just their second win of the season's Heineken Cup with a hard-fought 19-13 victory against Racing Metro in the suburbs of Paris.
Rhys Priestland kicked four penalties and converted the try of young winger Kirstian Phillips, while Welshman Mike Phillips crossed against one of his former clubs and Jonny Sexton converted and added a penalty.
Juan Martin Hernandez also slotted a penalty for the hosts, but it was not enough as again they failed to show any real cutting edged despite having plenty of possession and territory.
Simon Easterby's side live for another day in Pool Four, but it could be just for a day as they could be knocked out when Harlequins host Clermont Auvergne on Saturday afternoon.
Priestland had booted Scarlets in front early on but after only eight minutes Racing had hit back with the first try of the match, and it involved Sexton and Phillips as most of their attacking did throughout the match.
Sexton got the ball after an attack down the left, and when he was stopped just short Phillips picked up the ball and dived in for the first score for his new team - and against a former club, too.
Racing went over again almost immediately from a driving maul, but it was impossible to see if they had grounded the ball and Scarlets escaped.
The home team forcing the issue remained the format of the half, with Scarlets limited to breakaways, but they did get a penalty back on 39 minutes which Priestland converted.
They couldn't hold on, though, and Sexton was able to knock over a kick right on half time to make it 10-6 at the break.
Scarlets improved in the second half, especially in their pack which was much more evenly matched with the French, and they got their noses in front when Priestland hit two more penalties in the space of five minutes.
Ill-discipline was creeping into the French game as they grew frustrated, but it was a penalty against the Scarlets that came next - and when Juan Martin Hernandez was successful Racing had a slender one-point lead with 19 minutes left.
Just a minute later, however, and the visitors grabbed the crucial try when Kirstian Phillips showed superb pace and elusiveness to dance through the Racing defence from 40 metres out to score.
The decision went to the TMO who was studying a possible obstruction from Scarlets. Although there was an apparent grab of the shirt, the official insisted he was not going to tackle Phillips, so the try stood.
It could have gone either way from there, but Scarlets hung on and used their forwards in the dying stages to see out the remaining time and secure a welcome win.
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Harlequins fly half Nick Evans was made to pay for missing a penalty infront of the posts to pull away from Clermont. The french side then came from behind to secure their Heineken Cup quarter-final place.