European Challenge Cup: La Rochelle 39-15 Bristol Bears

Mathieu Tanguy and Danny Priso with Chris Vui of the Bristol Bears
It was Bristol's second trip to La Rochelle this season, with the Bears winning in France during the group stage
European Challenge Cup
La Rochelle (29) 39
Tries: Alldritt, Penalty try, Doumayrou, Liebenberg, Rattez Cons: West 2, Lamb Pens: West 2
Bristol Bears (10) 15
Tries: Luatua, O'Conor Con: Madigan Pen: Madigan

Bristol went out of the European Challenge Cup as La Rochelle scored five tries to reach the last four for the second time in three years.

Wiaan Liebenberg put the hosts 29-10 up at the break, running in their fourth try with the final play of the first half after Steve Luatua grabbed a Bristol try minutes earlier.

Vincent Rattez, who set up two tries, ran in a fifth to complete a 39-16 win.

La Rochelle advance to face Sale Sharks in the semi-finals.

The quarter-final win at Stade Marcel-Deflandre ensured the French hosts ended their four-match losing run, which has seen them slip to seventh in the Top 14 table, in emphatic style.

An Ihaia West penalty saw La Rochelle take an early lead, with the French side's hulking pack then adding two tries in quick succession - the first seeing Gregory Alldritt muscle over before a penalty try was awarded as Bristol's resistance crumbled on the line.

Full-back Rattez orchestrated the hosts' next two tries, evading the Bears' defence with skill and speed to offload for Geoffrey Doumayrou to score before Liebenberg benefited from similar treatment.

Rattez then capped a fine display with La Rochelle's only try after the interval.

While Luatua and Piers O'Conor grabbed tries either side of the break, the Premiership visitors never seriously threatened to mount a comeback on the Bay of Biscay.

The Bears now turn their attention back to securing Premiership safety, with Pat Lam's side fourth from bottom with five league matches remaining.

La Rochelle: Rattez; Roudil, Doumayrou, Aguillon, Andreu; West, Goillot; Priso, Orioli, Atonio; Sazy, Tanguy, Liebenberg, Alldritt, Vito.

Replacements: Bourgarit, Aouf, Joly, Leroux, Kieft, Berjon, Sinzelle, Botia.

Bristol Bears: O'Conor; Daniels, S Piutau, Pisi, Pincus; Madigan, Uren; Y Thomas, Thacker, Thiede; Muldowney, Vui, Luatua, D Thomas, Haining.

Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Lay, Armstrong, Holmes, Smith, Randall, Sheedy, Protheroe.

Referee: John Lacey (Ire).

Top Stories