Match Preview: La Rochelle
Glasgow Warriors will be looking to do the double over La Rochelle this weekend, as the two sides meet for the second time in as many weeks in Heineken Champions Cup action.
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weekend’s nail-biter at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, Dave Rennie’s men will be
looking to further their hopes of qualifying for a second-successive quarter
final in Europe’s premier club competition.
French outfit – who led for much of last weekend’s clash – will be looking to exact
a measure of revenge upon the Warriors, as they arrive in Glasgow for their
first-ever visit to Scotstoun.
finished in the top six of last season’s Top14, Rennie and company know that
there can be no let-up in intensity if the Warriors are to claim back-to-back
victories over their opponents.
the men in yellow are shaping up ahead of Saturday’s clash:
Rochelle Form Guide
La Rochelle side currently sit bottom of Pool Two after three defeats from
their opening three matches in the Heineken Champions Cup, with just the
solitary losing bonus point from last weekend’s meeting with Glasgow Warriors
to show for their efforts.
electric atmosphere at the Stade Marcel Deflandre in round one, the home side
found themselves overpowered by Exeter Chiefs as the English side claimed a
bonus-point victory in the south-west of France.
La Rochelle were
then edged out in a gruelling tussle at the AJ Bell Stadium in round two, as
Sale Sharks earned a 25-15 win over their French opponents.
weekend’s defeat at the hands of the Warriors leaving their hopes of qualification
looking as bleak as can be, victory on Saturday is a must for the French outfit
if they have any prospect of making the quarter-finals.
It was a
settled La Rochelle squad that finished the 2018/19 season, with only a handful
of players saying their goodbyes to the Stade Marcel Deflandre.
international Ryan Lamb returned to the British isles by joining Scarlets, with
French international prop Mohamed Boughanmi joining Top14 rivals Pau.
Olympian Steeve Barry also departed the club, joining Biarritz in their attempt
to return to the top flight of French domestic rugby.
fly-half James headlined the summer arrivals for O’Gara’s side, as the former
Clermont number ten joined from Bordeaux-Begles ahead of the new season.
international hooker Facundo Bosch was also recruited from within the Top14, as
the front-rower arrived from Agen in the off-season.
also a swoop for former New Zealand 7s player Teddy Stanaway on a short-term
deal, with the outside back covering the La Rochelle back division after
arriving from Oyonnax.
Ones to watch
Man of the
Match in a losing effort last weekend, Vincent Rattez showed his game-breaking
capabilities to devastating effect last weekend. The winger’s elusiveness provided
the platform for Dany Priso’s early try, whilst only a superb last-ditch tackle
from Ali Price denied the French international from claiming a match-winning
arrival, Jules Plisson’s boot is likely to be a key factor in La Rochelle’s
game plan once more this weekend. The fly-half contributed 14 points to the
French side’s total last weekend, with his territorial kicking also providing his
team with field position throughout the match.
loose-head prop Priso was part of an intense battle at scrum time last weekend,
locking horns with Zander Fagerson in a clash in the front-row. The
Cameroon-born man was also a frequent threat with ball in hand, showing great awareness
to support Rattez’s break to open the try-scoring.
meeting was the first between the two sides, as the Warriors edged an entertaining
affair to claim a 27-24 victory in La Rochelle.
Dany Priso and Zeno Kieft had put the home side 18-6 up, before Callum Gibbins’
well-worked score on the stroke of half-time.
second-half tries from Niko Matawalu and Kyle Steyn then put the Warriors in
front, as a resolute defensive effort secured victory for Rennie’s men.
will take charge at Scotstoun on Saturday, with the vastly-experienced
Englishman having recently returned from the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Ridley and Paul Dix will be his assistants, Rowan Kitt ready and waiting to be
called upon as TMO.