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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, December 17th 2018

Stat attack: La Rochelle 3-13 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears put in a sturdy defensive display to edge out La Rochelle in Saturday's European Challenge Cup clash at Stade Marcel-Deflandre.

Check out the best of the stats from memorable away win.  



Captain Crane

In wet and heavy conditions at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, Jordan Crane led from the front with a real captain's display from number eight.

The experienced forward made an impressive 19 tackles (100%) - the most in the game - as well as completing 12 carries, second only to La Rochelle's France international, Kevin Gourdon.

To add to these numbers, Crane also pounced to score the only try of the game early in the second-half after Nick Haining had charged down Tawera Kerr-Barlow's box-kick.

The number eight was influential in attack and defence, leading the way as a youthful Bristol Bears side recorded a gutsy win against a club who hadn't lost at home since April 2018.

Leader.


A case for the defence

This was a win built on a gutsy defensive display from Pat Lam's men, and one that left the head coach purring at the final whistle.

Bristol made 146 tackles to La Rochelle's 97 as the French side piled on the pressure in the final quarter - but the visitors refused to buckle to leave the hosts try-less for the first time this season.

And Bristol's defensive effort also forced La Rochelle to turn the ball over 20 times, another decisive factor in this memorable result. 

Sturdy.


The first cut

Pat Lam and Jordan Crane both spoke of this result as one to cherish, with European away wins in France a rarity for English sides. 

Bristol Bears inflicted a first home defeat of the season on La Rochelle, who sit third in the Top 14, to end their unbeaten run under new director of rugby, Jono Gibbes. 

It was a first defeat in eight games in all competitions for La Rochelle. 

Scalp.


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