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All Black Carter helps Racing shade Pau, into fifth

AFP logoAFP 9/04/2017
Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter (R) is tackled by Pau hooker Quentin Lespiaucq during the French Top 14 match at the Yves du Manoir Stadium in Colombes, outside Paris, on April 9, 2017 © Provided by AFP Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter (R) is tackled by Pau hooker Quentin Lespiaucq during the French Top 14 match at the Yves du Manoir Stadium in Colombes, outside Paris, on April 9, 2017

All Black legend Dan Carter helped Racing 92 shade Pau 34-32 to push the defending French Top 14 champions up to fifth ahead of Sunday's clash between Toulon and Toulouse.

This was Racing's second successive win in the wake of the aborted merger fiasco with Stade Francais, and it lifted them back into the play-off contention for the first time since before Christmas.

The Parisian outfit were far from happy with the result however.

"It's two points lost," said Racing backs coach Laurent Labit in reference to the attacking and defending bonuses.

"And if we finish level with them at the end of the season Pau will be ahead of us," he lamented.

Racing prop Eddy Ben Arous reflected: "That's the second straight game where we started well but failed to finish off. We have to take it a step further."

Carter, booed off after Racing's defeat last month to leaders La Rochelle, contributed two penalties and converted all four tries from fellow New Zealanders Joe Rokocoko and Ben Tameifuna, Juan Imhoff, and Henry Chavancy.

Racing were coasting 27-8 at the break and heading towards a bonus point but Pau launched a vigorous fightback in the second half, crossing over four times in the closing 20 minutes.

Their fifth and final try came from Daniel Ramsay in the 79th minute.

"I was proud of them how they finished it showed the values that exist at this club, we never let it drop," said Pau haed coach Simon Mannix.

Brandon Fajardo only succeeded in converting two of the five tries for Pau who were missing former All Blacks Colin Slade and Conrad Smith.

And their fly-half Tom Taylor only made it to the 36th minute when he had to leave the pitch injured.

Sixth-placed Pau though picked up a defensive bonus point to move them onto 53 points with Racing (fifth), Castres (fourth) and seventh-placed Toulon.

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