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Bordeaux-Bègles face off against Racing 92 in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals in what promises to be an epic showdown between two goliaths of French rugby.
Racing come into the game having crushed Edinburgh Rugby 56-3 in the Round of 16 for their biggest-ever win in the Heineken Champions Cup, while Bordeaux overcame Bristol Bears 36-17.
Bordeaux have lost five of their six games played against fellow TOP 14 teams in the Heineken Champions Cup, including all three home games, while Racing have won seven of their last 10 away games in the competition.
Bordeaux are on their best run of victories (4) in the Heineken Champions Cup though, and have scored over 35 points in each of their previous two games.
The action at the Stade Chaban-Delmas gets underway at 12:30 (UK and Irish time) and will be aired live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and beIN SPORTS in France.
Bordeaux-Bègles;3rd in Heineken Champions Cup Pool A; 9 points
Racing 92; 2nd in Heineken Champions Cup Pool B; 10 points
Round of 16
Bordeaux-Bègles 36-17 Bristol Bears
Racing 92 56-3 Edinburgh Rugby
European Head-to-head record
The sides have never met in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Leading 2020/21 points-scorers
Bordeaux-Bègles: Matthieu Jalibert (39)
Racing 92: Maxime Machenaud (27)
The French sides are tearing it up this season and this one promises to be a thriller 😎
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 8, 2021
Christopher Urios (Bordeaux-Bègles): When I look at my team, we don’t have anything to fear even if, obviously, teams like Racing 92, Toulouse and Leinster Rugby have great players and we have to compensate for that. But when you get to the quarter-finals, you are just one game away from a semi-final and then into a final after that.”
- This will be the first meeting between Bordeaux-Bègles and Racing 92 in European competition.
- Bordeaux-Bègles have won their last four games in the Heineken Champions Cup, their best run in the competition; they have scored 35+ points in each of their last two games, as often as in their first 21 matches in the competition.
- Bordeaux-Bègles have lost five of their six games played against a fellow TOP 14 team in the Heineken Champions Cup (W1), including all three home games.
- Racing 92 have won seven of their last 10 away games in the Heineken Champions Cup (D1 L2), one more win than in their first 23 away games in the competition (W6 D3 L14).
- Racing 92 recorded their biggest win in the Heineken Champions Cup during the last round against Edinburgh (56-3); they have won their last two games with a 40+ point margin after seeing a single-digit margin in their previous five games (W3 L2).
- Racing 92 have scored more points (131) and tries (18) than any other team in the Heineken Champions Cup this season; individually Simon Zebo (Racing) needs one more try to draw level with Brian O’Driscoll on 33 Champions Cup tries, the third most of anyone in the competition.
- Santiago Cordero (Bordeaux) is the joint top try scorer (4) in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, whilst team mate Matthieu Jalibert is the top points scorer (39).
- Baptiste Chouzenoux (Racing) has made 28/28 tackles in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, the most of any player who is yet to miss one and whose team has reached the quarter-finals.
- Bordeaux duo Matthieu Jalibert and Romain Buros have made more offloads than anyone else in the Heineken Champions Cup this season (six each), collectively, only Racing (34) have made more offloads than Bordeaux (32) this season.
- Racing’s Kurtley Beale has gained more metres (285) than anyone else in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, he’s also made more breaks (11) than anyone else.
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Matthieu Jalibert kicked all 24 of Bordeaux-Begles’ points – including a last-minute 55-metre penalty kick – to send his side into the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals for the first time.
They defeated a stubborn Racing 92 side 24-21 to set up a last four clash with Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon.
The first half started with Racing’s Camille Chat having to be replaced due to injury before Maxime Machenaud slotted a three-pointer and Antoine Gibert nailed a drop goal, either side of a reply from Jalibert, to give the Parisians the early advantage.
Jalibert slotted over two more penalties to put Bordeaux 9-6 ahead, before Machenaud returned the favour to see the two sides go in locked at 9-9.
Machenaud twice edged Racing ahead with further penalties in the second half, with Jalibert responding on both occasions.
Matthieu Jalibert with a MONSTER of a kick to win it at the death! ☄️🎯
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 11, 2021
Jalibert’s sixth successful kick came after to nudge Bordeaux ahead, but the France fly-half then pushed one wide and Racing replacement Teddy Iribaren was able to draw things level once more.
The same familiar pattern followed as Jalibert put Bordeaux in front again before Iribaren responded to make it 21-21.
But Jalibert had the final say, slotting over from 55 metres out to take his points tally in this season’s competition to 63 and send his side through to the last four for the first time.