Heineken Champions Cup: La Rochelle 24-10 Saracens – visitors lose quarter-final

129316723 malinstackled getty


Billy Vunipola receives treatment during Saracens' game at La Rochelle
Saracens’ England international number eight Billy Vunipola was carried off on a stretcher during the first half
La Rochelle: (16) 24
Tries: Kerr-Barlow 2; Pens: Hastoy 4; Con: Hastoy
Saracens: (3) 10
Try: Mawi; Pen: Farrell; Con: Farrell

Saracens are out of the Heineken Champions Cup after a quarter-final defeat by holders La Rochelle.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow’s two tries either side of half-time helped the hosts set up a semi-final tie against Exeter.

Eroni Mawi burrowed over for Saracens, who lost Billy Vunipola to injury in the first half, but it came too late for the Premiership leaders.

Antoine Hastoy kicked 14 points for La Rochelle, with Owen Farrell’s penalty the only other points for the visitors.

La Rochelle won the Champions Cup for the first time in 2022 and are aiming to reach a third consecutive final.

Their last-four tie against Exeter will be played in Bordeaux, while Leinster will take on Toulouse in Dublin in the other semi-final.

Both ties are scheduled for the weekend of 29-30 April, with the final at Aviva Stadium on 20 May.

As for Saracens, they must now focus their attention on winning the Premiership title. Mark McCall’s side are already assured of a home semi-final.

Improved La Rochelle see off Saracens

La Rochelle were almost upset by Gloucester in the last 16 but this was a much more assured performance by Ronan O’Gara’s side, who defended superbly throughout and took any points on offer from the tee early on.

Hastoy kicked three first-half penalties and scrum-half Kerr-Barlow went over for the first of La Rochelle’s two tries just before half-time, exchanging passes from a ruck to dart over from close range.

After some swift passes created space on the right, the excellent Levani Botia raced clear and set up Kerr-Barlow for his second, which looked to have put the contest to bed.

La Rochelle ended the match with 14 players after full-back Brice Dulin was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle, but their 14-point lead was protected by more outstanding tryline defence.

One downside for the home team was the late injury sustained by former Australia and Sarries lock Will Skelton, who was carried from the field on a stretcher in a neck brace. Saracens replacement Tom Woolstencroft was yellow-carded for making contact with Skelton’s head as he attempted to clear out a ruck.

Sarries will await news of Vunipola’s injury, which forced him off midway through the first period and appeared to be a problem with his right leg.

The England international attempted to limp off the field with help from Saracens’ medical team, but was eventually carried off on a stretcher.

Champions Cup semi-final schedule

  • Leinster v Toulouse – Saturday, 29 April, 15:00 BST (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
  • La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs – Sunday, 30 April, 15:00 BST (Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux)


La Rochelle: Dulin; Favre, Seuteni, Danty, Rhule; Hastoy, Kerr-Barlow; Wardi, Bourgarit, Atonio, Lavault, Skelton, Dillane, Botia, Alldritt (c).

Replacements: Lespiaucq, Thompson-Stringer, Sclavi, Sazy, Tanga, Bourdeau, Berjon, Thomas.

Saracens: Goode; Malins, Lozowski, Tompkins, Maitland; Farrell (c), Van Zyl; M Vunipola, George, Riccioni, Itoje, Tizard, Isiekwe, Earl, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Woolstencroft, Mawi, Judge, Hunter-Hill, Wray, De Haas, Taylor, Lewington.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)


Source link

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

    86515799 golf

    Masters 2023: Brooks Koepka leads from Jon Rahm, Tiger Woods withdraws

    P d28HWNDx 7 I4kSXboR5ZDJTuT8dVHbpoPM22s6PQ

    Two police officers and suspect killed after gunfire exchanged during traffic stop in Barron County (WI)