What began as a high hopes match for the Saints, ended up with a crushing home defeat at the Franklin's Gardens; but despite a shameful loss to the Sky Blues and Whites (Les Ciels at Blancs) from Paris, Northampton ended up in the final eight of the European Champions Cup in Pool 5, as runners - up, five points behind the Parisians.

It all went downhill for the Saints the moment their captain, and England hooker Dylan Hartley, picked up a yellow card only 14 minutes into the game. Hartley has a shocking disciplinary record and has just returned from his fifth career ban last Sunday; he just completed his three week ban for elbowing an opponent; many at the club and in the media are already questioning his "bad boy" behaviour.

After the Hartley's yellow card, Racing got a grip on the game and managed a quick 6-0 lead with Maxime Machenaud's two rapid penalties, and although Stephen Myler pulled a penalty back for the hosts, Metro made 11-3 by half-time with an unconverted try from the Argentine winger Juan Imhoff, which he scored in the 40th minute, on the stroke of half time.

The Argentine scored his second try straight after the interval, in the 42nd minute, and three minutes later Benjamin Lapeyre claimed an unconverted try for the visitors. This was a moment of triumph for the Sky Blues and Whites - they managed to score three tries only four-and-a-half minutes apart!

George North then added an unconverted try for Northampton in the 49th minute.

But Jamie Roberts, a Welsh international, added a fourth try for the French side in the 61st minute, and earned them a bonus point. Roberts smashed through the midfield as he made his physical presence known, and bulldozed over from close range to cement the Parisian's presence in the quarter-finals this season.

The loss leaves Northampton with an away tie in the quarter-finals; they were outplayed by the French side in every department on the pitch from the start to the final whistle.

The Northampton's supporters are left deeply disappointed with this final pool match.