Kolisi helps ‘100%’ Racing into Champions Cup last 16Sat, 20 Jan 2024 18:33:15 GMT

South Africa’s double Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi said Racing 92 are “100%” committed to the Champions Cup after scoring his first try for the club in a 48-26 victory over Cardiff which secured a place in the last 16 of the Champions Cup on Saturday. The Parisians moved above Ulster to fourth in Pool 2, after the Irish province were hammered 47-19 by Harlequins earlier in the day, claiming a spot in the next round to be held in April. Flanker Kolisi, 32, who joined Racing after lifting a second World Cup last October, crossed during the first-half on his eighth club appearance and was among seven try scorers for the French side, three-time Champions Cup runners-up. “We haven’t had a good competition, we’ve lost some games we could have won but today held our own,” Kolisi told BeIn Sport after their first win in four Champions Cup matches this season.”We are 100% in the Champions Cup, even though things didn’t go our way we knew it was in our hands today, so we gave it everything,” he added after finishing the win as Racing captain.A youthful Cardiff surprisingly led 7-3 after just 10 minutes as Wales prop Rhys Carre crashed over before Racing took control of the tie. No 8 Kitione Kamikamica went over in the corner before scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec, included in France’s Six Nations squad, set-up Kolisi five metres out for the try. Back-rower Kolisi then turned the provider setting-up centre Inia Tabuavou before Wales scrum-half Tomos Williams cut the deficit and the hosts led 20-12 at the break. Victory was clinched with half an hour to play as Kolisi’s compatriot, full-back Tristan Tedder and wingers Christian Wade and Juan Imhoff scored to make it 41-12.  Despite having less than a quarter of Racing’s budget this season, Cardiff refused to go out of the competition with a whimper as half-back Williams claimed his second try with 15 minutes to play. Fly-half Tinus De Beer then broke free to clinch a deserved bonus point for the Welsh club with nine minutes remaining before replacement hooker Jannick Tarrit made sure of the rout for the home side with a late try. Elsewhere, four-time winners Leinster claimed a home tie in the next round, beating Leicester 27-10 to maintain their unbeaten record in the pool stage. Later Saturday, there is a repeat of the 2000 final as Munster host Northampton with the Irish province, champions in 2006 and 2008, eyeing a place in the next round. Three-time former winners Saracens welcome already-qualified Lyon but Owen Farrell’s side are at risk of missing out on the last 16. Sunday’s highlight is holders La Rochelle’s trip to Sale. The French club need a win to guarantee their progress before record five-time winners Toulouse play Bath at a sold-out Stade Ernest-Wallon.