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La Rochelle too good for Bordeaux

CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: La Rochelle recorded a 31-23 win over Bordeaux-Bègles in their Champions Cup Round of 16 second leg clash on Saturday to set up a quarterfinal at home to Montpellier.

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Ihaia West, Grégory Alldritt, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Levanti Botia all scored for the hosts at Stade Marcel-Deflandre as La Rochelle prevailed 62-36 winners on aggregate over their fellow Top 14 side.

Gatien Masse and Federico Mori dotted down for visitors Bordeaux, who played the majority of the game with a numerical disadvantage following Maama Vaipulu’s first-half red card.

Bordeaux claimed the first points of the game when Maxime Lucu kicked a penalty for Christophe Urios’ men, but their lead was short-lived as West responded with a three-pointer of his own for La Rochelle.

The visitors’ chances of reaching the quarterfinals were then dealt a major blow when Vaipulu was shown a red card following his off-the-ball challenge on Jonathan Danty.

Despite being down to 14 men, Bordeaux took a three-point lead going into the interval as Lucu slotted another three-pointer.

Into the second-half, and La Rochelle scored the first try of the game as West powered through Bordeaux’s defensive line to cross under the posts before going on to improve his score as the hosts took a four-point lead and extended their advantage on aggregate.

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After dotting down for the hosts, West then went on to assist an Alldritt score under the posts before adding on the extras.

Bordeaux responded through a Masse try following a delightful chip from Mateo Garcia over La Rochelle’s defensive line, with Lucu improving the score.

Urios’ men were unable to build on Masse’s try, however, as Danty made a break from deep to sprint through Bordeaux’s defence before releasing Kerr-Barlow for his first points in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, with West converting yet again.

Maxime Lamothe then reduced the deficit yet again for the visitors as the replacement kicked a three-pointer.

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But La Rochelle ran in their fourth try when Botia pounced on a Kerr-Barlow grubber, West kicking another conversion.

Rochelle’s Jules Plisson was handed a yellow card for a challenge on Yann Lesgourgues.

Mori did score a late try for Bordeaux, which was duly converted by Garcia, but it was not enough for Urios’ side as they exit the Champions Cup at the Round of 16 stage.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Tries: West, Alldritt, Kerr Barlow
Cons: West 4
Pen: West

For Bordeaux:
Tries: Masse, Mori
Cons: Lucu, Garcia
Pens: Lucu 2, Garcia

Red card: Maama Vaipulu (Bordeaux, 25)

Yellow card: Jules Plisson (La Rochelle, 75)

Teams:

La Rochelle:15 Brice Dulin, 14 Martin Alonso Munoz, 13 Eneriko Buliruarua, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt (captain), 7 Matthias Haddad, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Rémi Picquette, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Facundo Bosch, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Guram Papidze, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Remi Bourdeau, 21 Thomas Berjon, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Levani Botia.

Bordeaux: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Federico Mori, 13 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 12 Gatien Masse, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Matéo Garcia, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Mahamadou Diaby (captain), 6 Pierre Bochaton, 5 Alban Roussel, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Thierry Paiva.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Lamothe, 17 Enzo Baggiani, 18 Lasha Tabidze, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Ulupano Seuteni, 23 Geoffrey Cros.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Jamie Leahy (England)
TMO: Christophe Ridley (England)

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