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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, April 1st 2019

As it happened: La Rochelle 39-15 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears European Challenge Cup journey came to an end at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, as La Rochelle ran out 39-15 winners in Sunday's quarter final clash.

First-half tries from Gregory Alldritt, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Wiaan Liebenberg and a penalty try left Bristol with a mountain to climb in their first European knockout clash for 12 years, despite Steven Luatua’s 35th-minute score.

Vincent Rattez glided over for La Rochelle’s fifth on 72 minutes, but there was still time for Piers O’Conor to touch down for a late consolation.

Relive all of the action as we dissect the key moments, as they happened, from Sunday's European clash.


West lands a penalty.
Madigan responds from the tee.
Uren comes close to scoring.
Luatua dives over.
Rattez scores for La Rochelle.

2 mins – La Rochelle on the charge but Luatua halts the French side with a fine turnover inside the 22.

7 minsPEN3-0 – Madigan penalised for not rolling away and West opens the scoring with a long-range penalty. First blood to the hosts.

14 minsTRY10-0 – Power and precision from La Rochelle, who get the driving lineout moving before Alldritt crashes over in the left-hand corner. West converts.

17 minsPEN10-3 – Bristol attacking well in the opening stages and after Pisi makes a half break, referee John Lacey awards the visitors a penalty at the breakdown and Madigan obliges from on the angle.

20 mins – West’s flat pass sends Vito soaring through a gap, before Atonio looks to have powered his way to the line from close range – but after consultation with the TMO, the try is ruled out.

21 minsTRY17-3 – But La Rochelle weren’t to be denied a second time, with the scrum getting the nudge on and John Lacey awarding a penalty try.

23 mins – Uren snipes down the blindside and beats the covering Rattez, but he’s caught by Atonio and knocks the ball on metres from the line. So close for the scrum half.

27 minsTRY24-3 – Another sweeping counter attack from the home side, started once again, by Ihaia West. The fly-half’s flat pass release Rattez, whose inside pass sends Doumayrou over untouched. West converts.

34 mins – Another chance for Bristol, but it goes begging again, as Piutau’s pass fails to locate Madigan with penalty advantage.

35 minsTRY24-10 – Bristol back into this tie with a try from Luatua, who grounds the ball at the base of the post under a pile of bodies. Madigan converts.

40 minsTRY29-10 – Rattez again at the heart of the La Rochelle attack, shredding the Bristol defence and finding Liebenberg for a walk-in on the stroke of half time.

HT: La Rochelle 29-10 Bristol Bears

52 minsPEN32-10 – Penalty at the scrum goes the way of La Rochelle and West lands his second penalty of the afternoon from long range.

58 mins – Doumayrou punts ahead after Sheedy knocks on in the La Rochelle 22 – and after winning the race to the ball, West is unable to gather.

72 minsTRY39-10 – Rattez caps a sublime individual display with a scintillating score, stepping and swerving through the Bristol defence to score under the posts. Lamb converts.

79 minsTRY39-15 – O’Conor links up with Daniels to score a late consolation for Bristol Bears.

FT: La Rochelle 39-15 Bristol Bears


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