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Dan Carter sets up meeting with old team-mate Aaron Mauger

Dan Carter booked a date with his former Canterbury Crusaders team-mate Aaron Mauger by helping Racing 92 reach the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup for the first time with a 19-16 win over reigning champions RC Toulon.

Carter kicked a penalty and conversion before handing over the goal-kicking duties to half-back partner Maxime Machenaud after tweaking a knee ligament. Machenaud finally got his side over the line with a 78th minute penalty.

That means Racing 92 will be the only non-Aviva Premiership side in the last four and Carter will head to the City Ground, Nottingham, to face Leicester Tigers - and his great friend and former team-mate Mauger.

Mauger took over as the head coach at Tigers this season and has led them into their first semi-final since 2009. They scored six tries in seeing off Stade Francais 41-13 at Welford Road.

"This means so much to this club - it is an historical game because we have never been to the semi-finals before. To get this win over Toulon, who have been the benchmark in European rugby, is just brilliant," said Carter.

"It gives us another week in the tournament and we know it is only going to get tougher from here on against Mauger's team. We will need to do our homework and prepare well for the game in two weeks time.

"It is going to be a great occasion and I am really looking forward to it. It is a great competition and it is a big part of the reason I wanted to come here and play."

Carter revealed he was not 100 per cent after injuring his knee in the first half and that was why he gave up the goal-kicking duties to Machenaud.

The French international scrum-half missed with three of his six kicks at goal, but nailed the one that mattered most.

"They are the moments you love to take in a game and to see Maxime kick that penalty was very pleasing. He is an 85-89 per cent goal-kicker and I just left him to it," said Carter.

"I have a little bit of a medial ligament injury and I just had to run it off. I wasn't 100 per cent and while it isn't a problem, I'll just have to manage my rehab."

While Machenaud, who kicked seven penalties against England in the Grand Slam game in Paris at the end of the RBS 6 Nations, won the game with his 78th minute penalty, he missed with another shot moments earlier and ended with a 50 per cent record in the pressure cooker atmosphere.

"It was the most important kick of my career, especially as I had missed an easier kick a few minutes earlier. I tried not to think about, or anything else, and just concentrated and what I had to do," said Machenaud.

"It was a difficult game against the champions and the second half was good for us. We still have a lot of work to do."


From Belfast Telegraph