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Carter’s French club Racing beat Highlanders

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Former All Black Dan Carter’s new French team won a battle of the hemispheres as Racing 92 beat the Highlanders 45-38 in Hong Kong.

The match was a tryfest as in all 13 tries were scored with Racing outscoring the Highlanders by seven tries to six.

The teams were playing the exhibition match for the Natixis Cup in Hong Kong.

All Blacks great Carter, the world player of the year, kicked a conversion before withdrawing at half-time in what became an end-to-end contest.

Chris Masoe got the winning try for the French side after a driving maul in the dying minutes to seal the exhibition game in front of a lively crowd in the former British colony.

The trademark European move was a fitting way to settle a match billed as a clash of styles between the Top 14’s Racing and the free-running Highlanders from Otago, New Zealand.

“Our driving maul was exceptional — that’s something that’s not appreciated maybe in the southern hemisphere,” Racing’s assistant coach Ronan O’Gara told reporters.

“But in the northern hemisphere it’s a massive weapon for us.”

Highlanders captain Shane Christie said: “It’s a shame we couldn’t get the win because I guess there’s a bit of banter involved in (the game).

“We thought they would have driven a bit more than that,” he added. “That’s obviously their strength and we’ve been practising to try and stop that — but they’ve got a really good driving maul.”

The Highlanders opened the scoring through a penalty try before Racing, despite a yellow card to Juandre Kruger, hit back through scrum half Xavier Chaveau to make it 7-7.

Racing took the lead when captain Francois van der Merwe went over on the left before the Highlanders, who by then had Joe Wheeler in the sin bin, came storming back through Matt Faddes.

Full back Faddes completed a sweet move to get his second and make it 21-12 at half-time, before centre Richard Buckman scored from the restart to put the Highlanders 26-12 up.

It started a flurry of tries with Marc Andreu, Chauveau and Luc Ducalcon all going over for Racing before number eight Liam Squire crossed for the Highlanders to make it 31-31.

They swapped tries yet again to make it 38-38 with 10 minutes left before Racing brought out the driving maul to put replacement Masoe over and go home with the silverware.

While Racing made the long trip to Hong Kong mid-season, the Highlanders are preparing for their final Super campaign under Jamie Joseph, who will take over as Japan coach in August.

Final Score Highlanders 45 (21) Racing Metro 38 (12)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries – penalty try, Faddes (2), Buckman, Squire, Walden
Pen –
Con – Sopoaga (4)
Drop –
Yellow cards: Joe Wheeler

Racing Metro
Tries – Chauveau (2), van der Merwe, Andreu, Ducalcon, Goosen, Masoe
Pen –
Con – Carter, Dambielle (4)
Drop –
Yellow cards: Juandre Kruger

Teams

Highlanders

Matt Faddes, Waisake Naholo, Jason Emery, Richard Buckman, Patrick Osborne, Lima Sopoaga, Josh Renton, Liam Squire, Shane Christie (c), Elliot Dixon, Joe Wheeler, Tom Franklin, Josh Hohneck, Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacements: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Brendon Edmonds, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Jackson Hemopo, Sio Thomkinson, Liam Howley, Malakai Fekitoa, Tei Walden, Ryan Tongia, Marty Banks, Luke Whitelock, James Lentjes, Mark Reddish

Racing Metro

Brice Dulin, Louis Dupichot, Etienne Dussartre, Dan Carter, Marc Andreu, Remi Tales, Xavier Chauveau, Antonie Claasen, Thibault Dubarry, Luc Barba, Francois van der Merwe (c), Juandre Kruger, Cedate Gomes Sa, Virgile Lacombe, Julien Brugnaut

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Davit Khinchagishvili, Henri Chavancy, Chris Masoe, Mike Phillips, Benjamin Dambielle, Joe Rokocoko, Ben Tameifuna, Luc Ducalcon, Manuel Carizza, Max Javaux, Juan Imhoff, Johannes Goosen

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