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Bobo helps Racing past Top 14 strugglers Lyon

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Article Published: Sunday 19 February 2012

Big spending Top 14 Rugby Club Racing-Metro restored a bit of calm to their troubled ranks on Saturday as a last minute try by Sireli Bobo saw them sneak a 33-22 victory over Top 14 tailenders Lyon.

However, the Paris-based club - who have been embroiled in a civil war between the players and sporting director Pierre Berbizier - did their best to throw away victory when they led comfortably in the second-half but the second of Bobo's brace of tries ensured they left victorious.

Elsewhere leaders Toulouse extended their lead with a 23-10 home win over Agen, who went down to their fifth defeat in six matches, while second-placed Clermont lost ground on the defending champions as they were held 22-22 away at Bayonne.

Last season's beaten finalists Montpellier's resurgence since the return of their players from the World Cup shows no sign of abating as they beat Bordeaux 30-26 for their ninth win in 10 games.

Racing-Metro got off to a bright start running in two tries in the opening quarter.

Veteran Fijian back Bobo grabbed the first, benefitting from a favourable rebound to get the better of former Wasps star Mark van Gisbergen to touch down and Argentinian maestro Juan Martin Hernandez converted to give them a 10-0 lead as he had opened the scoring with a penalty.

Racing's South African captain Jacques Cronje ran in a second try 10 minutes later and Hernandez - who had slotted over another penalty in between - failed to convert to leave it 18-0 to the visitors.

The hosts finally got on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute as Regis Lespinas converted a penalty from in front of the posts, though, Hernandez added a penalty of his own as the half drew to a close to make it 21-3 at the break.

The second period didn't start too well for Lyon as they were reduced to 14 men when Sisaro Koyamaibole was yellow-carded in the 44th minute for deliberate offside in breaking up a promising Racing break.

However, Hernandez made a mess of the penalty and the sides were evened up four minutes later as veteran Racing lock Lionel Nallet was also sin-binned for a late tackle.

Lyon took advantage of that immediately as they scored a try through a brilliant piece of indivudal play by Enrico Januarie, who squirmed through three opposing players to touch down but the subsequent conversion went astray.

Hernandez and France centre Fabrice Estebanez then combined brilliantly for the Argentinian to collect his own kick ahead and touch down for the visitors third try but he spoiled the moment when he slipped over in the process of taking the conversion to leave the score 26-8 to Racing.

The visitors then did their best to throw away the victory as they were reduced to 13 men by the 66th minute as first Argentinian back row forward Alvaro Galindo and then his compatriot Juan Pablo Orlandi were penalised for infringements.

Lyon again profited from this by scoring two tries through Vinaya Wakanivuga and Franck Romanet with the latter's try a superb effort -both were converted by Lespinas to put them just four points in arrears with seven minutes remaining.

However, it was the visitors who were to have the last laugh as Bobo shrugged off a tackle by an opponent and ran the ball back to touch down in the final move of the game - Hernandez converted to give them a much-needed victory as much for their morale as for their chase of a play-off position.

French Top 14 results on Saturday:
Toulouse 21 Agen 10
Bayonne 22 Clermont 22
Bordeaux 26 Montpellier 30
Brive 13 Castres 15
Lyon 22 Racing-Metro 33
Playing later
Stade Francais v Toulon
Played Friday
Perpignan 25 Biarritz 6

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