Rhule soars as La Rochelle cruise into remaining


Holders La Rochelle will play four-time winners Leinster within the Champions Cup remaining after dispatching Exeter Chiefs within the semi-final in Bordeaux on Sunday.

Raymond Rhule bought in on the motion with a brace of tries as La Rochelle put seven previous Exeter in a 47-28 one-sided semi-final victory.

The Might 20 remaining at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will likely be a repeat of final yr’s remaining, which noticed La Rochelle run out 24-21 winners over Leinster in Marseille.

It guarantees to be an entertaining affair given La Rochelle’s engaging high-tempo, offloading game-plan masterminded by coach Ronan O’Gara, the previous Eire fly-half who twice gained the Cup with Munster.

Leinster, with O’Gara’s successor within the Irish No.10 shirt Jonny Sexton out injured, are a facet packed filled with well-drilled Eire internationals able to punishing any facet on their day — they hammered High 14 leaders Toulouse 41-22 of their semi-final on Saturday.

“The purpose was to return again to this competitors and win it once more,” stated La Rochelle flyhalf Antoine Hastoy, who transformed six of his group’s seven tries.

“When it will get to knock-out rugby, the squad will get into this mode. Leinster are a monster group, all the time current for the massive matches. There stays one match for us…” Hastoy instructed BeIN Sport.

On the Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux, which is able to host 5 matches at this yr’s Rugby World Cup, it was Exeter who opened the scores, No 8 Sam Simmonds pushed over for a attempt after the English facet dominated early possession and territory, transformed by his brother Joe.

La Rochelle hit straight again, nonetheless, livewire South African winger Raymond Rhule gathering a intelligent Hastoy grubber after a break by Julien Favre.

Hastoy transformed and was additionally profitable after a second attempt by Australian centre and man-of-the-match Ulupano Seuteni, who sailed via a niche after a Gregory Alldritt turnover deep in Exeter territory.

Exeter then leaked two transformed tries whereas right down to 14 males after hooker Dan Frost was yellow carded after half-hour for collapsing a maul.

La Rochelle made the English facet pay instantly after the carding, the ever-present Alldritt going over unfettered from a scrum 5 metres from the road.

Extra was to return with Frost nonetheless binned as Kiwi scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow completed off a flowing offloading transfer with Exeter at sixes and sevens in defence.

Hastoy made no mistake with the extras to depart it 26-7 at half-time in Bordeaux, the place nearly all of the raucous 41,204-strong crowd had been bedecked within the black and yellow of La Rochelle.

Rhule bought his second attempt — and La Rochelle’s fifth — simply three minutes into the second interval, latching on to a pinpoint Hastoy cross-kick to the touch down, the fly-half booting the conversion.

Exeter’s ache was not over as La Rochelle hooker Pierre Bougharit was pushed over from a rolling maul, Hastoy including the extras.

Rhule was readily available to haul down Sam Simmonds simply metres from the road, however Exeter’s stress paid off as alternative prop Josh Iosefa-Scott rumbled over.

La Rochelle responded via Kerr-Barlow, who battled his method over for his second attempt after Teddy Thomas broke the defence.

Olly Woodburn and Jack Yeandle each crossed for comfort tries, Joe Simmonds hitting the conversions.

But it surely was all too little, too late, because the French facet had been properly clear in a complete victory in an entertaining 11-try run-out in heat southwestern France.

© Agence France-Presse


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