Harlequins 7-49 Racing 92: Last year’s Champions Cup runners-up consign Quins to their worst EVER home defeat in the competition
- Racing 92 scored seven tries in what was a ruthless victory over Harlequins
- Harlequins boss Paul Gustard described his side’s performance as ‘poor’
- The defeat was the Quins’ worst home loss in the history of the Champions Cup
Harlequins took the stay-at-home orders a little too seriously as they failed to turn up against Racing 92 and were roundly thrashed at The Stoop.
At times it looked like last year’s European Cup runners-up were aiming to match their tally to the number in their name, but as it was they settled for 49.
The superb French scored seven tries, providing all the artistry against their technicoloured opponents, consigning Quins to their worst ever home defeat in the Champions Cup.
Simon Zebo celebrates after scoring a try for Racing 92 in a comfortable win over Harlequins
Finn Russell and his boy-band backline including Teddy Thomas, Kurtley Beale and Henry Chavancy hit some gorgeous highs as it was all bum-notes yet again for the Londoners in Europe.
Their boss Paul Gustard could sense it would be a long day before kick-off.
‘We were off and quiet in the warm-up, there was no bounce, noise, talk or energy and we saw the consequences of that,’ he said.
‘It was a really poor performance from us.
Harlequins manager Paul Gustard described their performance at Twickenham stoop as ‘poor’
French wing Teddy Thomas (right) celebrates after scoring the opening try against Harlequins
‘There are a lot of upset people in the changing room. It’s not easy to lose heavily. They were very good and we were anything but.
‘Some people tried hard today – like Alex Dombrandt – but there was not one facet of the game where we performed. The players have to give us some answers.
‘This competition is now shelved.’
It is usually at this time of year that Harlequins make their annual exit from Europe. After making such a play of qualifying for the top competition they are often focusing solely on the league come the New Year.
Harlequins manager Paul Gustard was far from happy with his side’s display on Sunday
Maxime Machenaud scored two conversions and two penalties in an impressive performance
And this season is no different. Racing scored straight away, when Thomas sauntered in through a glaringly porous defence from the first phase off a lineout and then for 20 minutes the French took a point a minute.
The next try came when Kevin Le Guen finished at the back of a rolling maul – Maxime Machenaud hit both conversions and hit two penalties.
The Londoners were ragged and their game was riddled with mistakes and they saw Nathan Earle injured.
In the first half Marcus Smith could have troubled the scorers for Quins, but hit the post with a long penalty.
Simon Zebo scored a try early in the second half to put Racing 92 in a strong position
Racing’s only second-half mission was to score two more tries for the bonus point. Within 38 seconds of the restart they had try number three – Simon Zebo performing a one-two with Donavan Taofifenua to counter-attack after a limp Danny Care box-kick.
Machenaud missed the conversion after the Irishman’s 32nd European Cup score but it did not matter as Racing were soon back for number four.
Scott Steele – the scrum-half on for Care for barely 90 seconds – was sin-binned and then Georges-Henri Colombe bashed over.
Machenaud missed that kick too, but by this point it was 30-0 and a Parisian cruise with still almost half an hour of pain left for Quins.
Donavon Taofifenua scored Harelquins fifth try in what was a ruthless display at the Stoop
Francois Trinh-Duc scored a try and two conversions in an impressive individual performance
Russell then started to toy with his food. One of many dinks over the Quins defence found Taofifenua, lobbing the hapless Chris Ashton, for Racing’s fifth.
Steele then returned and quickly scored nicely down the left, and Smith converted, but Racing were not about to stop.
Ibrahim Diallo may have been denied Racing’s sixth, but seconds later Teddy Baubigny took it instead and Francois Trinh-Duc converted before next scoring and converting a try himself to push the French towards 50.
In the last play Quins thought they had a second consolation try from Dombrandt, but it was chalked off as Ashton and prop Fin Baxter illegally blocked Thomas well after he kicked clear.
It summed up their day – scrappy, off the pace and embarrassed on their own turf.
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