During a relocated match at the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille, La Rochelle scored a major success against Toulon (8-23) and took first place in the Top 14 standings before the Toulouse match. this Sunday.
La Rochelle carried out a very good operation this Saturday at the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille. During the penultimate poster of the 24th day of the Top 14, Ronan O’Gara’s players won against Toulon and took advantage of the opportunity to put pressure on Toulouse. The Maritimes quickly took the initiative in the game and it paid off after less than six minutes. At the end of a shelling sequence from the Var defense, Will Skelton forced the passage to flatten the first try of the meeting, validated by the use of video and then transformed without difficulty by Antoine Hastoy. A good start which was slowed down by the yellow card which Rémi Bourdeau received after the first ten minutes of the match. Recognized guilty of clearing the head of Baptiste Serin, the third line from La Rochelle took advantage of several mitigating circumstances to narrowly escape the red card. A numerical inferiority which however did not lead to consequence since Toulon, in spite of an offensive will, did not find the fault in the Charente defense. However, a quarter of an hour before half-time, Cheslin Kolbe signaled himself by ringing the alarm clock of the RCT.
Kolbe tried to wake up Toulon
After seeing his forwards push back the La Rochelle defensive curtain, the South African winger saw Ihaia West serve him with a pinpoint pass to allow him to flatten. In the process, the Toulon striker did not experience success on the transformations, leaving Toulon two units from La Rochelle. Ronan O’Gara then had to revise his plans with calf pain which forced Teddy Thomas to leave the lawn. Tawera Kerr-Barlow entered the game, causing a reorganization of the La Rochelle attack. Joel Sclavi, meanwhile, complained early on of a cheekbone and also gave way to Reda Wardi. Eight minutes from the break, Antoine Hastoy improved on a ground foul by Christopher Tolofua and gave the Maritimes a five-point margin at the end of the first act. The RCT could have taken the advantage but Ihaia West then Baptiste Serin both failed against the poles. After Ulupano Seuteni’s injury exit due to shoulder pain, which forced Paul Boudehent to enter the three-quarter line, Antoine Hastoy gave Stade Rochelais some air by passing a second penalty seven minutes after the restart.
La Rochelle too little worried to doubt
In the aftermath, Franck Azéma and Pierre Mignoni replaced their first line but especially Ihaia West by Dan Biggar. As game time approaches, the Welsh striker enjoyed more success than his predecessors but above all scored the last three points for the RCT in this meeting. Indeed, after a third success on foot on penalty for Antoine Hastoy, Kyle Hatherell ended the suspense seven minutes from the siren. The third row took advantage of the good work close to his teammates out of scrum to finish the job in force. Not wanting to give up, the Toulonnais laid siege to a too undisciplined La Rochelle defense at the end of the match. What Antoine Hastoy paid in the 78th minute with a yellow card. What will remain only an incident in this meeting dominated head and shoulders by La Rochelle (8-23). Thanks to this success in the match of the continental finalists, the Maritimes provisionally take first place in the standings with a three-point lead over Toulouse, which receives Bordeaux-Bègles this Sunday. For Toulon, the opportunity to consolidate a place in the Top 6 flies away and the Var club is now in seventh place after this second loss in a row.