Racing 92 narrowly beat the LOU this Saturday at Paris La Défense Arena, after a two-part match which above all confirmed the main fault of Laurent Travers' players: their irregularity.
Like their Scottish opener Finn Russell, who was making his comeback, the Sky and White have alternated good and bad, even disturbing.
And were even very scared at the end of the match with a last Lyon action that could have cost them the match.
What to remember: Racing in two stages
“We didn't want to miss our start to the match,” Dimitri Szarzewski told Canal + at half-time. His players followed the instructions to the letter. In twelve minutes, the Ciel et Blanc have pierced the Lyon defensive curtain three times. The arrows of Racing have done justice to their reputation, well helped by the generosity of Lyon. Fickou, inspired, opened hostilities after a one-handed serve from Imhoff in the 3rd minute. The 3rd try, obtained just after the consecutive dismissal from Chat, is a marvel of recovery from 80m, a huge action in which all three quarters of Racing played fair, from Donovan Taofifenua who saves the touch up to Fickou, Vakatawa and Beale who transmit in the right tempo to Diallo who scores. The 11,000 spectators of the Arena are in heaven.
It was probably too good to be true.
Asleep on its laurels, Racing falls back into its pitfalls and is countered by Lyonnais who have had the merit of never giving up.
Their melee, with an overpowered Demba Bamba, puts the Sky and White to death.
And it is on two scrimmages in front of the posts that the LOU remakes its delay in the second half.
First in strength, then in finesse, with a trickster attempt by Baptiste Couilloud.
Leo Berdeu is then responsible for sanctioning the indiscipline of Racing (24-20, 68th).
But Racing preserves its meager advantage at the siren.
The player: Diallo with two faces
The revelation of last season, Ibou Diallo, made his return to the starting XV of Racing and, like his team, alternated the good and the less good.
His test in the first quarter of an hour, in support of his three-quarters after an action of 80 m, rewards his first solid period.
But it is also he who, in the last quarter of an hour, releases Baptiste Couilloud who registers the test of hope for Lyon.
The number: 12
Like the number of minutes it took for Racing to register its three tries of the match.
Then it was almost a curtain.
Racing also has 12 points in the standings with this victory, and is in 2nd place behind Toulouse, which receives Clermont on Sunday, and one point ahead of their opponents of the day.
Racing 92 - LOU 24-20
Racing 92. 3 tries (Fickou 3rd, Chat 11th, Diallo 13th).
3 transformations (Machenaud 3rd, 12th, 14th).
1 penalty (Le Garrec 59th).
1 yellow card (Cat 54e)
2 tests (Mayanavanua 46th, Couilloud 61st).
2 transformations (Berdeu 47th, 62nd).
2 penalties (Berdeu 64th, 68th).
Racing 92: Gogichashvili (Kolingar 45th), Chat (Baubigny 64th), Oz (Gomes Sa 45th) - Palu (Pesenti 48th), Le Roux - Diallo, Tanga (Baubigny 57th, Tanga 64th), Lauret (Chouzenoux 36th) - Macheanud ( m) (Le Garrec 57th), Russell (o) - Imhoff (Klemenczak 74th), Fickou, Vakatawa, Taofifenua - Beale.
LOU: Devisme (Kaabeche 48th), G. Marchand (Ivaldi 48th), Bamba - Geraci, Mayanavanua - Cretin, Taufa (cap.), Goujon (Sobel 57th) - Couilloud (m), Berdeu (o) - Dumortier, Ngatai ( Niniashvili 41st), Regard, Mignot - Laporte.