Kerr-Barlow stars as La Rochelle beat Sale
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: La Rochelle scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow put in a terrific performance as the French side defeated Sale Sharks 30-23 on Friday at Stade Marcel Deflandre.
The English side got off to a great start after a clever kick from Sam James allowed the visitors to set up a driving maul and three phases later, Jean-Luc Du Preez went over at the posts.
The try was converted by AJ MacGinty who added a three-pointer on 18 minutes, putting the English side 10-0 ahead.
La Rochelle would hit back minutes later as Sale lost possession, allowing La Rochelle to counter-attack and it was Geoffrey Doumayrou who played a lovely quick pass to Tevita Railevu who dived over the line for a try on his Champions Cup debut.
The French side went ahead after Will Cliff had possession for Sale but his pass was intercepted with brilliant control by Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who sprinted away for the try.
The two sides then traded penalties before James Williams slotted over with the clock in the red to put Sale 16-15 up at the interval.
La Rochelle were much the better side in the second half and grabbed two tries on 58 and 73 minutes to see off a dogged Sale side.
The first came from Doumayrou after a lovely sniping run from Man of the Match Kerr-Barlow and he found his teammate for a simple try.
The bonus point score came after Sale were reduced to 13 men following a red card for Valery Morozov and a yellow card for replacement Chris Ashton. It was Brock James who floated a pass wide allowing Gregory Alldritt to saunter over the tryline as they exploited holes in the Sale line.
The visitors would grab a consolation try through Curtis Langdon but couldn’t force another opportunity as La Rochelle clung on to take all five points.
The hosts will travel to Exeter Chiefs in Round Six while Sale Sharks will host Glasgow Warriors.
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Railevu, Kerr Barlow, Doumayrou, Alldritt
Cons: West 2
Pens: West 2
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Du Preez, Langdon
Cons: MacGinty, Williams
Pens: MacGinty 2, Williams
Red card: Valery Morozov (Sale Sharks, 64)
Yellow cards: Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle, 12); Chris Ashton (Sale, 62); Lopeti Timani (La Rochelle, 64)
La Rochelle: 15 Jérémy Sinzelle, 14 Tevita Railevu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Arthur Retiere, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Kevin Gourdon (captain), 5 Rémi Leroux, 4 Thomas Lavault, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Reda Wardi.
Replacements: 16 Brendan Lebrun, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Zeno Kieft, 21 Thomas Berjon, 22 Brock James, 23 Kini Murimurivalu.
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James (captain), 12 James Williams, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 James Phillips, 4 Matt Postlewhaite, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Callum Ford, 19 Sam Dugdale, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Joe Carpenter, 23 Chris Ashton.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Finlay Brown (Scotland)
TMO: Neil Patterson (Scotland)