The previous Munster legend Ronan O’Gara will be hoping to defeat the top picks Leinster in Marseille on Saturday week. La Rochelle’s overseer of rugby saw his side loss the Champions Cup almost men Racing 92 in the smothering intensity in northern France in the primary round of expert rugby at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
It was physical and attritional yet it was not pretty. Unquestionably these sides couldn’t match Leinster’s dignified movement to the last 24 hours sooner.
La Rochelle won’t beat the mind-boggling top picks Leinster assuming they decide to play a high-rhythm game one week from now yet on the off chance that the game is tight they are a counterpart for anybody. O’Gara’s side, beaten a year prior at Twickenham in the last by Toulouse, have a huge pack and they have taken extraordinary steps in the previous year.
Nobody has made a bigger number of conveys in the opposition this season than their skipper, Grégory Alldritt, whose take a stab at the stroke of half‑time turned the game La Rochelle’s way and the No 8 was exceptional close by the 35-year-old previous All Black Victor Vito in the back column.
Sentimental people will lament that the last won’t be graced by Racing’s Nolann Le Garrec. The scrum-half turned 20 on Saturday yet couldn’t commend a success close by his half-back accomplice Finn Russell, both extraordinary the earlier week against Sale in their quarter-last in Paris.
Le Garrec has been praised as the following Antoine Dupont yet he needed to watch Ihaia West at long last kill off the game in the last move of the evening with an attempt that compensated for the New Zealander’s rebellious spot kicking that might have cost them the game. La Rochelle, however, merited their triumph.
The day had not begun well for Racing with the full-back Max Spring and the prop Trevor Nyakane pulling out with wounds however the Parisian side got their noses in front in a crude first half when the two sides seemed, by all accounts, to be racked by nerves in this, their most memorable Champions Cup meeting. After Le Garrec had put Racing ahead with an early punishment his side scored the principal attempt. The Racing pack drove advances and Virimi Vakatawa saw his chance with a perfect advance and a stretch over the line.
La Rochelle’s pack then, at that point, started to extend its muscles. Hustling got through another injury blow when Ibrahim Diallo went low to stop the goliath prop Uini Atonio and the flanker left the field stupefied and befuddled. La Rochelle started to extract the life from the Racing pack and, after a progression of punishments and scrums, Alldritt fueled over with the last move of the principal half to agree with his position to inside two purposes of Racing for whom the final part looked dismal.
Hustling changed their first line at the break. La Rochelle before long got an opportunity to start to lead the pack interestingly however West cushioned his third kick of the midday when a direct punishment struck a post. Rather it was Racing who extended their lead when Le Garrec handled a punishment five minutes after the fact.
Dashing, however, put more squeeze on themselves when their whore Camille Chat, one of those substitutions, was shown a yellow card for handling a man without the ball. Unexpectedly the entire energy of the game changed.
La Rochelle’s pack thundered advances and the arbitrator, Matthew Carley, granted them a punishment attempt while the Racing No 8 Yoan Tanga was punished for hindrance at the batter. Tanga was shown a yellow card and Racing were diminished to 13 players and an apparently miserable assignment of saving the game.
Le Garrec had two chances to reestablish the lead for the 13 men with two punishments. However, they floated wide and La Rochelle detected they were en route to a second progressive last.