La Rochelle v Bayonne Live

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La Rochelle                          Bayonne
Thursday 20th October 18:45 GMT


La Rochelle have been the surprise package in the French Top 14 tournament this season, occupying third position at the end of Round 8, and they took their fine domestic form into the first round of the Challenge Cup last weekend, when they travelled to Italy and thrashed Benetton Treviso by 41-10. On Thursday, they play host to fellow Top 14 club, Bayonne, at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, in Round 2 of the Challenge Cup. Having been beaten just twice this season, and with Bayonne having only registered one win, a comfortable home win looks to be on the cards.

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Seven successive losses in the Top 14 for Bayonne, were followed last weekend by a further defeat on home soil against Gloucester in their European Rugby Challenge Cup opener, going down by 27-47. When the two clubs met earlier in the season in the Top 14, also at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle triumphed by 34-17. They previously faced each other in the Challenge Cup at the Pool stage in 2014/15, when each side won their home fixture. If Bayonne's losing sequence continues on Thursday Evening, it will be a fifth successive away loss in the Challenge Cup, conceding 40+ points in each of those last two beatings.

Posted: 24th October 2014


There will an interesting all French clash at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle in Pool 2 of the Challenge Cup on Friday, when Bayonne are the visitors. French clubs are not always noted for their prioritising the Challenge Cup above the Top 14 domestic tournament, and neither do they traditionally travel well, whether to other French clubs, or further afield in European competition. Newly promoted to the Top 14 this season, La Rochelle are just about managing to keep the heads above water, occupying 12th position in the table, thanks to three wins in their own stadium. Their visitors are in ninth position, just three points above La Rochelle, and have lost every game that they have played on the road this season.

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If La Rochelle have any ambition with regard to this season's Challenge Cup, they need to beat their fellow countrymen, following the 40 point thumping that they suffered in Ireland last weekend, at the hands of Connacht. Bayonne meanwhile, despite an ill-disciplines performance against Exeter Chiefs, managed to snatch a win, with a 77th minute try, that saw them home by 28-24, which may just have been enough to stimulate their interest in the tournament.

Tags: Stade Marcel Deflandre, Bayonne, European Rugby Challenge Cup, La Rochelle
Posted: 20th October 2016

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