By Simon Lewis
Key moment: Munster dragged themselves back from the brink with an Andrew Conway try six minutes from time with JJ Hanrahan’s touchline conversion levelling the scores at 21-all.
Hanrahan had the chance to seal victory after Munster built their way back into Racing’s 22 but with time almost up and having waited patiently in the pocket for his drop-goal opportunity, the fly-half, under pressure from Teddy Iribaren, hooked his kick wide of the posts and Munster had to settle for the draw.
Talking point: Points dropped or a well-earned draw for Munster? Hanrahan’s late drop-goal miss made it feel like the home side let victory slip from their grasp and Racing emerge stronger with these two points on the road.
Johann van Graan will take an unbeaten pool record into the round-three visit of defending champions Saracens in two weeks and will need a victory at the very least to keep their hopes of reaching the quarter-final alive with trips to London and Paris still to come.
Key man: Mike Haley earned the man of the match vote for his adventurous display from full-back, although there were also moments of frustration from the Munster number 15. Andrew Conway’s late try was his seventh in as many games for Ireland and now Munster.
Ref watch: English referee Matthew Carley drew the ire of the home supporters by giving Racing the benefit of the doubt on a number of offside calls as well as what looked like a high tackle on Chris Farrell in front of the posts.
Having seen the replays, Carley decided Farrell had been dipping into the contact, much to the displeasure of the Thomond Park faithful.
Penalties: Munster’s penalty count had been in double figures last Saturday at Ospreys under another English official, Karl Dickson, but this was a much-improved performance in terms of discipline, just one penalty conceded in the opening half.
Penalties Conceded: Munster 3 + 1 free kick, Racing 9 + 2 fk
Injuries: Racing were forced into a change just before kick-off when scrum-half and goalkicker Maxime Machenaud picked up a calf injury, replaced by Teddy Iribaren while Munster lost prop Jeremy Loughman to an injury early in the second half.
Next up: It’s back to the Guinness PRO14 next weekend for one week only as Edinburgh visit Cork next Friday night with Munster’s Irish internationals handed a week off under IRFU player welfare guidelines ahead of a return to European action and home-and-away games with Saracens.
MUNSTER: M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray (A Mathewson, 61); J Loughman (J Cronin, 49), N Scannell (K O’Byrne, 65), J Ryan (S Archer, 54); J Kleyn (F Wycherley, 54), T Beirne (B Holland, 61); P O’Mahony – captain, J O’Donoghue (A Botha, 54), CJ Stander.
Replacement not used: D Goggin
RACING 92: S Zebo; T Thomas (B Dulin, 64), V Vakatawa, H Chavancy – captain, J Imhoff; F Russell, T Iribaren (A Gibert, 80); E Ben Arous (H Kolingar, 54), C Chat (T Baubigny, 54), C Gomes Sa (A Oz, 54); D Ryan, D Bird (F Sanconnie, 58); W Lauret, B Palu, A Claassen (Y Tanga, 80).
Replacement not used: B Volavola
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)