Saracens snatch victory at the death in France

Racing Metro's Henri Chavancy, left, and  Saracens' Mako Vunipola
Racing Metro's Henri Chavancy, left, and Saracens' Mako Vunipola

RACING METRO 11 SARACENS 12

Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch landed a match-winning penalty with the final kick of the game to guarantee English representation in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup.

Bosch stepped up to take the 55-metre shot at goal after Racing Metro replacement Fabrice Metz had been penalised for diving over the top with only 10 seconds remaining on the clock.

The kick was at a slight angle and into the wind, but the Argentinian nervelessly steered his attempt between the uprights to seal a 12-11 victory and was immediately mobbed by his team-mates as the final whistle sounded.

As a precaution, referee Nigel Owens and his touch judges were escorted from the pitch by security as boos rang out in protest at the Welsh official’s decision to penalise Metz.

The Stade Yves-Du-Manoir had rubbed its eyes in disbelief as Saracens led 6-5 at the interval despite having been pummelled throughout a one-sided first half.

Last season’s runners-up had summoned upon their reserves of character and experience of knockout European rugby to stay in contention as the showdown entered a decisive final 10 minutes.

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked one penalty and full-back Alex Goode supplied six points to keep the match favourites in sight.

Two second-half penalties from scrum-half Maxime Machenaud, who also crossed for the game’s only try in the 27th minute, placed Racing in control that the Parisians only relinquished as Owens was preparing to blow for full time.

Saracens’ victory has set up a last-four showdown with Clermont in St Etienne in two weeks’ time.