Dan Carter guides Racing 92 into European Champions Cup final

Dan Carter guides Racing 92 into European Champions Cup final

All Blacks great Dan Carter remains on track for a glorious farewell after French club Racing 92 beat Munster 27-22 to qualify for the final of the European Champions Cup.

Racing's shot will come against three-time winners Leinster in the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao on 12 May.

Any thoughts of an all-Irish final quickly evaporated in the 28-degree Bordeaux heat, the travelling Munster hordes left reeling by Teddy Thomas' blistering brace of tries and a Thomas-created third converted score from Racing captain Maxime Machenaud. "They have incredible players like Teddy Thomas and one of the best defences in the Top 14". Hugely influential scrum-half Maxime Machenaud nailed the hard conversion.

Machenaud's metronome right boot extended the lead with a penalty just two minutes into the second half, and Munster's misery continued when a Rhys Marshall try was ruled out after he had run into referee JP Doyle.

Thomas sprinted over after just five minutes following an inch-perfect, delayed pass from Virimi Vakatawa.

Ian Keatley and Rory Scannell failed with drop-goal attempts before the former got Munster on the board with a penalty, but their defence was breached again moments later when the unsafe Vakatawa made a break before feeding Thomas, who raced away for a double.

Machenaud was again on target with the conversion.

The France worldwide could have had his hat-trick four minutes later but opted to pass to Machenaud after he had crossed the tryline. A penalty close to the Racing tryline offered hope with the scrum the chosen option and off first-phase ball, Conor Murray delivered the ball to Rory Scannell who crashed into contact, only for Racing centre Virimi Vakatawa to clamp over the ball and win a crucial penalty to end the opening period and crush Munster's hopes of shifting the momentum. That is the way it stayed until half-time. Maxime Machenaud Maxime got the third try, three conversions and two penalties.

Racing 92 - Tries: Teddy Thomas (3).

Munster did not capitulate, however, and 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 Conway and Marshall claimed late consolation tries.

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