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Pool 4 leaders La Rochelle will be hoping for a quick start on Saturday when they take on Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate, having scored more first half tries this season than any other side in the Challenge Cup.
- Bristol Bears and La Rochelle have met four times previously during the 1997/98 and 2000/01 pool stages. Bristol were undefeated in their two home games (W1, D1) but lost both away matches.
- Bristol have lost just one of their last 10 home games against TOP 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup (W8, D1), that solitary defeat coming against Narbonne in January 2006.
- La Rochelle have averaged the most metres (844), clean breaks (29) and defenders beaten (46) to date, although Bristol have made the second most clean breaks (18) and rank third for metres (548) and defenders beaten (31).
- La Rochelle’s Maxime Lafage is the top point scorer after two rounds this season (37) from 1 try and 16 conversions.
- La Rochelle have won just one of their eight previous away games against Gallagher Premiership opposition in the tournament (D1, L6), losing the last four in a row.
📝| #BristolBears make 9⃣ changes for @ERChallengeCup as @MathProtheroe returns to competitive action 💪
Full story here ➡️ https://t.co/ZFB9gBNWSF pic.twitter.com/aOND0VTIKj
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) December 7, 2018
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La Rochelle maintained their 100 per cent record in Pool 4 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup after an action-packed clash against Bristol Bears.
There was only four points separating the side at the interval as Gregory Alldritt and Romain Sazy tries were levelled up by efforts from Bristol pair Harry Thacker and Jake Heenan but Maxim Lafage’s conversions gave the visitors the edge.
The French side took charge after the interval though leaving Bristol with too much to do although they did rally late on to earn a bonus point.
Jules Favre, Vincent Rattez and Jeremy Sinzelle all crossed for the visitors and Lafage stretched out their advantage by converting all three.
48' Doublé de Vincent Rattez ! 10-28 #BRISR #ChallengeCupRugby #FievreSR https://t.co/Wappkb6s8L pic.twitter.com/HlQWG4wXLH
— Stade Rochelais (@staderochelais) December 8, 2018
Bristol’s consolation scores followed in the final 13 minutes from Tom Pincus and Charlie Powell and Callum Sheedy added a conversion to give the home side something for their toils.
Bristol, who have lost two of their three games but have picked up seven points to stand just two behind second-placed Zebre, will look for quick revenge at leaders La Rochelle next Saturday evening.
🏉| What a try from the @brfc_academy flyer, collecting @OConorPiers' offload to sprint in from 5⃣0⃣ metres. 💨
Conv. added. ✅
🐻 22-35 ⛴️ (77 mins). #BRIvLAR pic.twitter.com/XvHHQ3op0D
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) December 8, 2018
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