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Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle roll on to quarter-final clash with Montpellier

Another win over Bordeaux saw La Rochelle through from the Round of 16.

O'Gara's men march on into the quarter-finals [file photo].
O'Gara's men march on into the quarter-finals [file photo].
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

La Rochelle 31 (62)

Bordeaux 23 (36)

RONAN O’GARA’S LA Rochelle confirmed their place in the Champions Cup quarter-finals with a 31-23 win over Bordeaux in the second leg of their Round of 16 match-up.

O’Gara’s men will face Top 14 rivals Montpellier at home in the next round as they look to work their way back into the Champions Cup final, where they lost to Toulouse last season.

La Rochelle, whose forwards coach is Donnacha Ryan, carried an 18-point advantage into this afternoon’s second leg at their Stade Marcel Deflandre and were able to power past Bordeaux.

They were helped by a 27th minute red card for Bordeaux’s Ma’ama Vaipulu for an off-the-ball hit on La Rochelle centre Jonathan Danty, although the visitors led the game 6-3 at half-time after two penalties from Maxime Lucu.

However, the home side started strongly in the second half as out-half Ihaia West scored a very sharp try and converted it himself, adding to his first-half penalty for a 10-6 advantage.

a-view-of-a-scrum La Rochelle were too strong for Bordeaux again. Source: Manuel Blondeau/INPHO

Number eight Grégory Alldritt added a second try soon after as La Rochelle took control, with West converting again.

Bordeaux struck back through Gatien Massé but O’Gara’s side continued to pile on the points as scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow was next to cross, West’s extras taking them to 24-13 on the scoreboard.

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The powerful Levani Botia dotted down their fourth try on the end of a clever Kerr-Barlow grubber kick.

La Rochelle were reduced to 14 players for the closing five minutes as replacement Jules Plisson was sin-binned for a high tackle soon after coming on for West, allowing Bordeaux to finish with a consolation try from Federico Mori.

With Bordeaux missing a handful of key players, La Rochelle were clearly the better team over the two legs and now move on to face Montpellier in the quarter-finals.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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