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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, April 1st 2019

Stat attack: La Rochelle 39-15 Bristol Bears

Medal of O'Conor, lively Luatua and metres without reward - check out the best of the match stats from Sunday's European defeat to La Rochelle.



Medal of O'Conor

Piers O'Conor made the switch from centre to full-back for this European quarter final, but it made no difference to the 23-year-old's impact on the game, with the versatile back putting in another stellar display on the big stage.

The former Ealing Trailfinders man made an incredible 195 metres from 23 carries - the most in the match - and capped off an impressive performance with a late try as Bristol finished with a flourish at Stade Marcel-Deflandre. 

O'Conor applied the finishing touches to a sweeping Bears handling move, collecting Luke Daniels' offload to cruise in untouched.

Standout.


Leading from the front

Co-captain Steven Luatua put in another huge shift in the Bristol Bears back-row, packing down at number eight after a late switch saw Nick Haining drop out and Ed Holmes come into the second row.

The All Black made 19 carries in an action-packed 80 minutes at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, as well as burrowing under a pile of bodies for his side's opening try shortly before the half-time interval.


The numbers game

Bristol enjoyed long periods of possession and territory at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, but they were unable to convert it into a match-winning performance.

The Bears made a total of 754 metres compared to the hosts' 469 and made 218 carries versus 97.

Pat Lam's side also enjoyed more than double La Rochelle's time in possession (25 minutes 38 secs vs 12 minutes 26 secs) - but the powerful French side stood firm to record a quarter-final win.


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