Match Centre: Heineken Champions Cup: La Rochelle 29-26 Gloucester

La Rochelle will face Saracens or Ospreys in the quarter-finals
La Rochelle will face Saracens or Ospreys in the quarter-finals

La Rochelle 29-26 Gloucester, Stade Marcel Deflandre

A late try from Teddy Thomas proved decisive as La Rochelle edged out Gloucester 29-26 in the round of 16 clash in the Heineken Champions Cup at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

The result meant La Rochelle will be facing Saracens or Ospreys in the quarter-finals.

Antoine Hastoy started the proceedings with a fifth minute penalty goal but Billy Twelvetrees missed a chance to level the scores as his three-pointer drifted wide.

The 12th minute saw Seb Atkinson sent a perfect offload for Chris Harris to score and Twelvetrees kicked the conversion and a penalty to ensure the Cherry and Whites extended their lead to 3-10.

The French side seized the lead back as Pierre Bourgarit burrowed from close range before Teddy Thomas touched down. Hastoy kicked the conversion on the first occasion to take the scoreline to 15-10.

The scores though were levelled once again as Freddie Clarke exhibited great speed to dive in the corner. With the break approaching, Hastoy missed a penalty chance as the teams were unseparated at the end of the opening half.

The start of the second half saw the visitors reduced to 14 players temporarily with Lewis Ludlow sin binned for illegally bringing down a maul and Tawera Kerr-Barlow dived from close range. Hastoy kicked the conversion to make it 22-15.

Gloucester brought the deficit down once again as Rees-Zammit dived over after collecting a neat kick from Twelvetrees. The Gloucester fly-half missed the conversion but made amends with a penalty goal to make it 22-23.

As La Rochelle’s Georges-Henri Colombe who was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Ruan Ackermann and Twelvetrees once again slotted a three-pointer to take Gloucester's lead to four points.

Just as Gloucester thought they sealed the game, Thomas had other plans after collecting a wide to score his second to sail La Rochelle through to the next round.

Team line up:

La Rochelle: Dulin; Thomas, Rhule, Danty, Favre; Hastoy, Kerr-Barlow; Sclavi, Bourgarit, Atonio, Lavault, Skelton, Dillane, Botia, Alldritt (c).

Reserves: Lespiaucq, Wardi, Colombe, Sazy, Tanga, Boudehent, Berjon, Reus.

Gloucester: Carreras; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley; Twelvetrees, Varney; Vivas, Blake, Gotovtsev, Clarke, Alemanno, Ackermann, Ludlow (c), Clement.

Reserves: Walker, Elrington, Ford-Robinson, Jordan, Thomas, Morgan, Chapman, May.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table