Rugby

La Rochelle beat Racing in Top 14 arm-wrestle

2017-10-08 19:24

Paris - La Rochelle kept pace with the Top 14 leaders with a workmanlike 16-9 victory over Racing 92 on Sunday in a dire encounter.

Last year's surprise regular-season table-toppers have carved out a reputation for being tough to topple and they were at their stubborn best in frustrating the 2016 champions.

The win took La Rochelle up to third, just five points behind this year's surprise package, Lyon, after a fifth win in seven matches.

Racing remained in the bottom half after a lacklustre display in which they failed to even snare a losing bonus.

La Rochelle's success was built on forward power with a much-changed Racing pack unable to contain them.

Maxime Machenaud, playing at flyhalf rather than scrumhalf as the injured Dan Carter was missing, gave Racing an early three-point lead from the tee, but the rest of the first half belonged to the hosts.

Alexis Bales knocked over two penalties before La Rochelle launched an attack from a scrum in Racing territory.

With the backline running intelligent lines, New Zealand international No.8 Victor Vito managed to break through a gap and flip an overhead pass to replacement flyhalf Vincent Rattez to cross the whitewash, despite being tackled by Teddy Thomas.

A second Machenaud penalty just before half-time kept Racing in touch but the France international missed a relatively straightforward kick at the posts early in the second period.

Bales then kicked his third penalty following a break from France back-rower Kevin Gourdon and Fijian fullback Kini Murimurivalu.

Racing toiled for long periods deep in La Rochelle territory but lacked the guile needed to break through a disciplined and committed defence.

Machenaud did knock over a third penalty late on but it wasn't enough to snatch a losing bonus point.

Lyon went top with a bonus point 25-6 win at Agen on Saturday as previous leaders Montpellier fell to a shock 31-20 defeat at previously misfiring Stade Francais.

Later on Sunday, champions Clermont travel to record four-time European Cup winners Toulouse.

Read more on:    racing 92  |  la rochelle  |  top 14  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who do you think will contest the 2017 Currie Cup final?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.