La Rochelle knock out Racing 92 at Lens and join Leinster in European Cup final

The movie: 20-13

Focused on their strengths, solid on the fundamentals, concentrated until the end and these three penal touches (75th-80th) which pushed the Racingmen into the left corner of the field, the Rochelais will find for the second consecutive time – all but one chance – the European Cup final. This time, it will be against the Irish of Leinster, winner of Stade Toulousain, Saturday (40-17) in Dublin. This apotheosis will be held at the Marseille velodrome stadium on Saturday May 28.

Very undisciplined (18 penalties whistled against them, two yellow cards), outclassed in closed scrums and particularly ineffective in the scoring areas, like this long sequence (14th-20th) which led to nothing and this “two against one “for the unstoppable try harvested by Teddy Thomas (66th), the Racingmen logically ended up losing to the powerful Rochelais in melee until offering a try to their captain Grégory Alldritt (40th) after three consecutive opponents five meters from the opposing in-goal, and organized around the penal keys, as evidenced by the conclusive try of Ihaia West (80th).

Warned by the referee because of their multiple faults committed under pressure from La Rochelle, the Ile-de-France residents received the triple sanction: two consecutive yellow cards against Camille Chat (52nd, fault on the ground) then Cedate Gomes Sa (53rd, maul collapsed), and a penalty try (54th) which brings the score to 15-13 in favor of the Maritimes. Nolann Le Garrec missed two long-range goals (60′, 62′) and Teddy Thomas neglected Juan Imhoff in a try-out position, keeping the ball instead of negotiating a school “two against one”, and that’s how Stade Rochelais overtook the hour of play in a favorable position.

Everything could be played on an action, an inspiration, an initiative. Both teams attacked the last lap but could not find the fault, reduced the stress and the suspense set in. The faults on the ground multiplied, the inaccuracies too, the score did not move, the game was maintained in the middle of the field. Until the Rochelais, who no longer believed in their scorers, blocked their opponent on the play post for the last five minutes, and ended up scoring a third try by their opener Ihaia West (80th), unfortunate at the foot and happy to dive in to free his own.

The fact: scorers with too left feet

Once again, in the cutthroat matches, Stade Rochelais’ New Zealand fly-half Ihaia West failed in the penalty shootout. He failed twice on very well placed sensitivity goals, 22 meters from the posts (12th, 45th), and also missed the transformation of Alldritt’s try (40th + 1st) in the middle position. That’s eight points. His alter ego Nolann Le Garrec, until then author of a 3/3 then missed two penalty goals (60th, 62nd) in the Lensois wind. The Rochelais Pierre Popelin, entered in the 52nd, in turn missed a long-range but (69th) and the transformation of the West test (80th).


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