La Rochelle provisionally top of Pool B after their success at Northampton

The game: 13-31

After their narrow victory against Ulster last week (7-3), Stade Rochelais won the attacking bonus this Saturday on the Northampton field. Long laborious, the Maritimes ended up reciting at the end of the match, carried by devastating grouped-penetrating. Thanks to this success, they temporarily take the lead in Pool B (before Toulouse’s match against Munster on Sunday) and are guaranteed to receive in the eighths, and potentially in the quarters.

Held in its ropes by the Saints, Stade Rochelais suffered a lot at the start of the game. Northampton knew how to deprive him of the ball and occupy the Maritime camp for almost half an hour. The merit of Ronan O’Gara’s players will have been to hold the ranks in defense. And, on their first real opportunity, they showed implacable realism, Levani Botia scoring in force the first try of the game (27th).

The red card given to Fraser Dingwall just before half-time for an involuntary header in the temple of Dillyn Leyds then somewhat facilitated the task of the Rochelais. Quentin Lespiaucq (49th, 64th) and Grégory Alldritt (61st) concluded school mauls to win the offensive bonus. Then UJ Seuteni (70th), after a nice maneuver from Jules Favre, completed the great La Rochelle success. A fourth victory in as many meetings which allows the Maritimes to advance serenely towards the final phase in the spring.


The Stade Rochelais chained a 12th victory in a row in the Champions Cup. He has not lost in the competition since the final against Stade Toulousain on May 22, 2021 (22-17).

The player: reassuring Uini Atonio

Hit in the right knee against Stade Toulousain earlier this month (30-7), Uini Atonio was back on the pitch this Saturday in England. The international right pillar, who was retained in the group of 42 to prepare for the Six Nations Tournament, did not take long to put himself forward: he scratched a ball in the arms of George Furbank in the 3rd minute, recovering a good penalty.

Still as solid in the scrum, Atonio (32) reassured about the state of his knee. The Rochelais held his place for 50 minutes before being replaced by Georges-Henri Colombe. Something to reassure coach Fabien Galthié and his staff.


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