Jonathan Wisniewski slotted a hat-trick of drop goals to guide Racing Metro 92 to a tense 19-25 victory over London Irish, the French side's first win in Pool Two.
The flyhalf ended with 20 points as the French side overturned their defeat in Paris last weekend Share But an 80th minute try by home hooker David Paice took a bit of the shine off the victory as it gave the home side a bonus point at the death to move them onto eight points and keep them in the hunt for an unlikely route into the last eight.
With Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues tied on 13 points, Irish would need to beat them both in the New Year and hope Racing can do the same. As for Racing's chances, they are even slimmer despite a win that moved them onto seven points.
The game developed into a battle of the boots of home wing Tom Homer and Wisniewski and by half-time it was the Frenchman who had edged his side in front 15-12 courtesy of two drop goals and three penalties.
Homer, however, made a big impact with his kicking, the first of his four penalties going over from 55 metres - and clearing the dead ball line as well. The former England Under-20 star then added the conversion to Paice's last gasp try to end with a match haul of 14 points.
Racing were the more dominant team in the third quarter and no sooner had Wisniewski completed his hat-trick of drop goals than Fijian wing Sireli Bobo pounced on a loose ball, hacked over half-way and picked up a kind bounce before showing enough pace to steer clear of the covering Homer.
That gave Racing clear daylight on the scoreboard and their defence held firm until the dying moments when Matt Garvey slipped a pass out of a tackle to give Paice his dash for the line.
For London Irish:
Pens: Homer 4
For Racing Metro:
Pens: Wisniewski 3
DG: Wisniewski 3
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Tom Homer, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matthew Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Bob Casey, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Paul Hodgson.
Racing Métro 92: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Julien Saubade, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sereli Bobo, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Remi Vaquiin, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Santiago Dellape, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Noirot, 17 Mikaele Tuugahala, 18 Johannes Coetzee, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Sebastien Descons, 21 Juan Martin Hernandez, 22 Bernard Le Roux, 23 Karim Ghezal.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Carvill (Ireland), Barry O' Connell (Ireland)
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