Gloucester beat La Rochelle in European Challenge Cup

Charlie Sharples scored a decisive try near the end for Gloucester

Gloucester took their record in the European Rugby Challenge Cup to two victories from two Pool four matches after beating La Rochelle 20-33 at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Thursday.

The English Premiership rugby side outscored their hosts by three tries to two in the contest which was played in front of a 14000 strong crowd.

Ben Morgan gave the Cherry and Whites and early lead, but they were pegged back by home scrum-half Julien Audy.

Jason Eaton put the hosts into the ascendancy after the break, but late tries from Steve McColl and Charlie Sharples secured Gloucester’s 11th successive Challenge Cup triumph.

Gloucester made a lightning start as they went in search of their 10th successive Challenge Cup triumph.

Cherry and Whites captain Greig Laidlaw exchanged penalties with La Rochelle marksman Fabien Fortassin, before England international Morgan took things into his own hands. The Gloucester no.8 powered through a gap in the home defence and beat the final man to score.

But David Humphreys’ men were pegged back just four minutes later. A kick through landed in the hands of Eliot Roudil who fed the ball inside to Audy to score.

But Laidlaw was on-hand to kick a pair of penalties and silence the the home crowd after half-an-hour.

The kickers traded penalties again before the hosts came racing out of the blocks after the break.

La Rochelle claimed possession after the restart and Fortassin sent a well-weighted cross-field kick for Jason Eaton to dot down, Fortassin converted to give the Top14 side a 20-19 lead.

Just when it looked like it could be La Rochelle’s day, James Hook combined with Rob Cook, who fed McColl to race over at the corner. Billy Twelvetrees landed the conversion before Charlie Sharples raced over for the 33-20 triumph.

Final Score La Rochelle 20 (13) Gloucester 33 (19)


La Rochelle
Tries – Audy, Eaton
Pen – Fortassin 2
Con – Fortassin 2
Drop –

Tries – Morgan, McColl, Sharples
Pen – Laidlaw 4,
Con – Laidlaw, Twelvetrees 2
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy),
Assistant ref: Matteo Liperini (Italy),
Assistant ref: Luca Trentin (Italy),
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy),
Citing Commissioner: Stefano Marrama (Italy)


La Rochelle :

Charles Bouldoire; Gabriel Lacroix, Elliot Roudil, Malietoa Hingano, Alexander Northam; Fabien Fortassin, Julien Audy; Mike Corbel, Benjamin Geledan, Gagi Bazadze, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Leo Cedaro, Jason Eaton (c), Romain Sazy, Kevin Gourdon

Replacements: Maxime Gau, Thomas Synaeghel, Vincent Pelo, Damien Lagrange, Zeno Kieft, Albain Meron, Jules Lebail, Martin Carre

Gloucester Rugby:

James Hook; Charlie Sharples, Bill Meakes, Mark Atkinson, Henry Purdy; Billy Twelvetrees (c), Greig Laidlaw; Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements: Tom Lindsay, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Sione Kalafamoni, Jacob Rowan, Willi Heinz, Stevie McColl, Rob Cook

With thanks to EPCRugby

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