Thanks to three penalties signed by Ihaia West, La Rochelle made people forget their setback against Stade Français Paris by dominating Racing 92 (9-6) in a late match of the 3rd day of the Top 14 which will not be remembered.
It was not the feast of rugby this Sunday at Stade Marcel-Deflandre! Usually flamboyant on their lawn, the players of La Rochelle resumed their march forward after a match against Racing 92 which definitely did not shine by the quality of the game offered. They have at the same time made forget their non-match last weekend against Stade Français Paris.
Postponed for a little less than two months because of the coronavirus, this meeting started with a hand fault by Uini Atonio who returned the ball to his opponents. From the 6th minute, François Trinh-Duc took advantage of a penalty to open the scoring then, in the wake, the Rochelais pillar Reda Wardi joined the bench for an irregular charge on Wenceslas Lauret.
Ten minutes of numerical superiority which the Racingmen failed to take advantage of. On the contrary, Ihaia West did not miss the opportunity to equalize in the 11th minute.
Barely two minutes later, Racing 92 had the opportunity to regain the advantage following an offside position in La Rochelle. But François Trinh-Duc, established in an exceptional way for this meeting, missed the target at 39 meters full axis. The former international striker, not successful in this meeting, undoubtedly cost his team the victory.
Ihaia West responded to her counterpart by recording her first failure in the 18th minute. The end of the first period saw the Rochelais lack precision to take failing a Racing 92 team applied but without genius. Very quickly in the second period, from the 45th minute Laurent Travers brought in some experience with Teddy Iribaren, on the pitch for the first time since the Champions Cup final.
Two minutes later, François Trinh-Duc failed at the foot a second time… before putting it back in the 54th minute. Ihaia West, for his part, trembled much less shortly before the hour mark. Following an offside position in Ile-de-France, the striker from La Rochelle gave his team a hand.
# TOP14 – J1-7-3 bis
Update completed🖥️ Here are the results of this weekend 👇 pic.twitter.com/nXWCAv0Riv
– TOP 14 Rugby (@ top14rugby) November 22, 2020
The New Zealander widened the gap five minutes later by improving an obstruction from Ibrahim Diallo on Brice Dulin. While the staff of the XV of France has already had to make two changes in his group to face Italy, Uini Atonio gave him a cold sweat fifteen minutes from the end of the meeting when he complained of the knee left after a ruck. The international tricolor was however able to finish the match. He thus witnessed the reduction of the gap signed by Teddy Iribaren following a fault from Skelton in touch.
The end of the match saw both teams try everything to make the decision but in a way too muddled and inefficient to achieve their ends. At the end of the first match of the Top 14 season without the slightest attempt, La Rochelle won without shining (9-6) and took six points ahead of Toulouse at the head of the championship. Racing 92 fell after two wins in a row and remained at the foot of the podium, with one last game still to play.