Carter holds his nerve as Racing edge Clermont in extra-time thriller


Dan Carter kept his cool to convert a controversial last-gasp try from Juan Imhoff and haul Racing 92 into the Top 14 final with a nail-biting 34-33 victory over Clermont Auvergne after extra-time.

A hard-fought, high-quality affair at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin ended all square after 80 minutes, but extra-time penalties from Scott Spedding and Brock James appeared to have done enough to send Clermont through to a final against either Toulon or Montpellier.

However, Imhoff and Carter had other ideas. First, the Argentina wing survived a review from the video referee looking at a potential forward pass after tearing clear to touch down in the last minute of extra-time, before the nerveless World Player of the Year added the extras to edge Racing into the final in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Racing had Carter to thank for putting them in command early on, with the legendary All Black's three penalties putting the visitors 9-3 up after 25 minutes.

Johan Goosen then scrambled over for the game's first try as Racing moved further clear, but Clermont - last year's beaten finalists - reduced the arrears to 16-11 at the break thanks to a late score from Fitz Lee.

A topsy-turvy second half saw the momentum swing both ways, with Joe Rokocoko and Wesley Fofana trading tries before Carter forced the match to extra-time with another three-pointer.

Clermont then thought they had finally seen Racing off thanks to Spedding and James, but heartbreak was just around the corner as Imhoff's score was allowed to stand before the enduring class of Carter shone through once again.