La Rochelle 45-21 Sale Sharks, Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Raymond Rhule and Geoffrey Doumayrou scored two tries apiece as La Rochelle knocked Sale Sharks out of Heineken Champions Cup with a 45-21 win in the quarter-final at Stade Marcel-Deflandre.
Aj MacGinty missed an early penalty that went wide in the seventh minute but made amends with a three-pointer in the 9th minute to start the proceedings for Sale Sharks. As Sale failed to clear the line, La Rochelle had a chance to level the score which Ihia West kicked perfectly in the 11th minute.
The French side seized the lead in the 21st minute after Sale was penalised for an offside and West slotted the kick perfectly making it 6-3 but MacGinty with his second penalty kick in the 26th minute ensured the teams were levelled at 6-6.
The opening try of the game came in the 28th minute when an offload from Victor Vito sent Gregory Alldritt to dot down but West's conversion went wide. A third penalty kick from MacGinty ensured the gap came down to two points.
As the half-time was nearing, Dillyn Leyds and Sam James exchanged tries as the opening half ended with La Rochelle having a slender 18-16 lead.
La Rochelle extended their momentum into the second half with West releasing Rhule in a gap following a line out as the winger touched down in the 43rd minute. West also slotted the extras making it 25-16 which became 30-16 by the 51st minute with this time Brice Dulin finding Rhule, who completed his second try in a span of 10 minutes.
The home side seized the momentum and further extended their lead with this time Rhule sending a perfect pass inside to Geoffrey Doumayrou, who beat the last Sale defender to touchdown. West kicked the extras and also followed with a penalty goal to take their lead to 40-16.
With 10 minutes left in the game, La Rochelle got their sixth try with this time Leyds finding Doumayrou after a nice line break as the outside centre completed his second try of the game making it 45-16 before Byron McGuigan scored a consolation try for Sale in the 76th minute.
Team line up:
La Rochelle: Dulin; Rhule, Doumayrou, Botia, Leyds; West, Kerr-Barlow; Wardi, Bourgarit, Atonio, Sazy, Skelton, Alldritt, Gourdon, Vito.
Sale: Hammersley; McGuigan, S James, Van Rensburg, Yarde; MacGinty, De Klerk; Rodd, Van der Merwe, John, Wiese, Beaumont, JL Du Preez, Curry, D Du Preez.