La Rochelle v Bayonne Live

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La Rochelle                          Bayonne
Saturday 24th September 16:30 GMT


La Rochelle are occupying the giddy heights of second position in the Top 14 Orange table after five rounds of competition, with just one defeat, which came last weekend by the narrowest of margins 28-29 at Brive. On Saturday, La Rochelle will be at home, for just the third time this season, playing newly promoted Bayonne at the Stade Marcel Deflandre. The previous home fixtures have brought a stunning comeback draw against Clermont-Auvergne, who currently top the table and are the last unbeaten club in the Top 14 this season, and most recently a thumping 43-18 success against another newly promoted side, Lyon.

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With Clermont due to visit Toulon this weekend, victory over Bayonne might well see La Rochelle soar back to the top of the ladder. After having to negotiate the Pro D2 play-off system at the end of last season, to land the second promotion spot behind the runaway winners Lyon, Bayonne would always have been expecting this season to be an exceptionally tough challenge. A lowly thirteenth position, and just one win and a draw in five matches, perfectly illustrates that the expectation of tough times has duly been the case. Two previous away matches have ended in defeat, 9-25 at PAU and 20-40 at Bordeaux. It would be a surprise if they were to manage even a losing bonus point at the weekend. Their priority would appear to be, picking up sufficient points at home to protect their hard won top flight status.

Posted: 29th November 2014


Newly promoted La Rochelle continue their Top 14 adventure on Saturday, with a home fixture against Bayonne at the Stade Marcel Deflandre. Both sides were beaten in their last fixture, before the two week break in domestic rugby, while France played the Wallabies and the Pumas during the Autumn International window. La Rochelle were soundly beaten at Oyonnax in the Alps, while Bayonne were not much more competitive in their defeat in Paris against Racing Metro. However, the Top 14 newcomers will look forward to returning to the familiar surrounds of their own stadium, where they have been beaten only once in five Top 14 Orange fixtures this season, and have accumulated 19 points in total. Therein, however, lies the crux of their problem.

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19 points is a sound return at home. However, they have played six times on the road, and as yet they have not gained so much as single losing bonus point. The only club in the Top 14 not to have done so. Not that their visitors on Saturday have fared much better on their own travels. Having lost all five games away from home, but having picked up two losing bonus points at least, and it is those bonus points that are keeping them clear of the relegation zone.

Tags: Top 14 Orange, Stade Marcel Deflandre, Bayonne, La Rochelle
Posted: 24th September 2016

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