Of the five of the seven French clubs competing on Saturday in the round of 16 first leg of the European Rugby Cup, La Rochelle scored points against UBB while Toulouse complicated the task, in the perspective of the return matches next weekend
At the end of the afternoon (6.30 p.m.), the second act of the capital trilogy pits Stade Français against Racing 92 in Jean-Bouin.
Montpellier, which will host the English club Harlequins at 2:00 p.m., and Clermont, where the Leicester Tigers will travel at 4:15 p.m., will play for their part on Sunday.
. La Rochelle gets comfortable in Chaban-Delmas
The Stade Rochelais, after narrowly beating and after the siren Bordeaux-Bègles in the league last weekend (16-15) already at Chaban-Delmas, did it again on Gironde soil but this time by winning an easy victory ( 31-13), thanks to three tries and the impeccable boot of its opener Ihaia West, author of the defeat of the victory the previous weekend. That is a fifth victory in a row over the men of Christophe Urios by the club trained by Ronan O’Gara, in the stands due to a disciplinary sanction.
The Maritimes, unfortunate finalists of the European Cup last year, are now on track to participate at least in the quarterfinals of the prestigious competition, and why not do as well as last year. And with internationals in great shape – Bourgarit, man of the match, but also Danty, author of a test, and Alldritt -, it is not forbidden to dream.
. Toulouse will have to give everything to Belfast
Toulouse, losing at home against Ulster (20-26), carried out the bad operation of the day. Stade Toulousain, reigning European champions, had however well repeated their meeting at the Stadium, sold out for the occasion, by scoring the first try of the match in the 7th minute by their second line Emmanuel Meafou.
But after the exclusion of its Argentinian winger Juan Cruz Mallia in the 11th minute, the red and black club took a hit on the head. Playing with 14 proved difficult against opponents fielding players as experienced as those from the Northern Irish province. Especially since the Northern Irish winger Robert Baloucoune, author of a triple and designated man of the match, pulled out all the stops.
It will be hard in Belfast for Antoine Dupont’s teammates who will have to transcend themselves, even if they showed their abilities at the end of the game with a good try from Romain Ntamack in the 79th. Hope is therefore allowed.