Russell sparkles as Racing crush Northampton

Northampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Racing 92 overwhelmed Northampton 45-14 on Friday in the opening match of the European Rugby Cup season.


Finn Russell orchestrated the Parisian attack with four "assists" in Northampton.

The Scottish fly-half set up two tries for winger Juan Imhoff and two of flanker Wenceslas Lauret's three tries.

While the Saints, who are third in the English Premiership, went through hell on their home turf, Racing rebounded from three straight Top 14 losses in emphatic style.

"We said we wanted a reaction," said Lauret. "The European Cup is important to us and we wanted to find ourselves, to regain confidence. Mission accomplished."

The French club went for the throat from the start.

Two penalties from Maxime Machenaud put the visitors six points up after four minutes.

Then Russell put Lauret over in the eighth minute.

After Machenaud kicked another penalty, Russell's inside pass sent Imhoff over in the 20th minute.

Courtnall Skosan hit back with try for the Saints but Russell set up a second for Imhoff after 36 minutes and Racing led 28-7 at half time.

Russell's offload sent Lauret sliding across the line again in the first minute of the second half.

Fraser Dingwall gave Saints a glimmer of hope which another Machenaud penalty and a third Lauret try extinguished