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Montpellier aim to upset the odds at La Rochelle

Thursday 5th May 2022

2:00 pm (GMT)

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Montpellier aim to upset the odds at La Rochelle

Stade Rochelais No.8 Grégory Alldritt (pictured second left), who has completed the most offloads and carries in this season's Heineken Champions Cup

Montpellier Hérault Rugby will be looking to overturn the formbook when they travel to La Rochelle on Saturday for their first Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Stade Rochelais.

Stade Rochelais have won their last three home games against TOP 14 opposition in European competition, while Montpellier have lost each of their six away matches against French clubs in the Heineken Champions Cup, conceding an average of 32 points per game in the process.

The quarter-final at Stade Marcel Deflandre starts at 17:30 UK and Irish time, and will be broadcast live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

Other key stats: 

  • It will be Stade Rochelais’ fourth time facing TOP 14 opposition in the competition (W2 L1) and Montpellier’s 12th time playing another French side (W4 L7).
  • This will be Stade Rochelais’ third appearance in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup, having won one and lost one of their previous two matches at this stage. Their quarter-final win came at Stade Marcel Deflandre, where they notched a 45-21 victory against Sale Sharks in 2020/21.
  • This will be Montpellier’s second appearance in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup. They lost their only previous fixture at this stage of the competition, which also took place away from home against French opposition.
  • No side have spent a greater proportion of their matches in opposition territory in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than Stade Rochelais (57%). Meanwhile, no team remaining in the competition had less territory than Montpellier (47%).
  • Stade Rochelais missed just nine tackles in their Round of 16 second-leg victory against Union-Bordeaux Bègles, the fewest of any side in the last round of fixtures. Their 14.8 missed tackles per game is the third-lowest average among teams remaining in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
  • Only two teams made more offloads than Montpellier across their two Round of 16 fixtures (20), despite making the second fewest passes across the two legs (195). Montpellier also ranked in the top three teams for line breaks in the Round of 16 (11).
  • No player has completed more offloads in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than Stade Rochelais’ Gregory Alldritt (12). Alldritt also ranks first for carries (73) and joint-third for breakdown steals in the competition this season (6).
  • Montpellier’s Louis Foursans-Bourdette registered two try assists in his side’s Round of 16 second-leg tie against Harlequins. He was one of just two players to make both a kick assist and a pass assist in the last round of fixtures.

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La Rochelle see off Montpellier to secure semi-final spot

Saturday 7th May 2022

7:38 pm (GMT)

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La Rochelle see off Montpellier to secure semi-final spot

Stade Rochelais centre Levani Botia powers over for a try

Stade Rochelais went through to the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals after prevailing 31-19 winners over fellow TOP 14 side Montpellier Hérault Rugby in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Dany Priso, Victor Vito and Levani Botia all crossed the whitewash at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, with Ihaia West kicking a further 16 points for the hosts. 

Montpellier scored tries through Henry Thomas, Yvan Reilhac and Zach Mercer, as Louis Forsans kicked two conversions for last season’s EPCR Challenge Cup winners. 

La Rochelle took the lead in the 13th minute when Priso, playing in his final season for the club, was released by Vito to go over under the posts, with West converting the prop’s try.  

After assisting Priso, Vito then dived over for a try of his own when a smart offload from Botia found Jules Favre who sent the 35-year-old over for his first Heineken Champions Cup points of the season, with West converting again.  

Montpellier, however, managed to cut the deficit to 10 points going into half-time as prop Thomas powered over, before Forsans added on the extras.  

The visitors then further reduced La Rochelle’s advantage straight after the break as Reilhac benefitted from a mix up between Pierre Bourgarit and Tawera Kerr Barlow to pick up the loose ball and dive over as Forsans kicked another conversion. 

La Rochelle quickly responded minutes later through Botia, with the centre showing his strength to hold off a challenge from Montpellier’s Gabriel N’gandebe to power over in the corner, but West failed to improve the try with his conversion attempt.  

It would not be too long until Montpellier scored again, as Yacouba Camara and Benoit Paillaugue combined to release Mercer on the left flank for his third Heineken Champions Cup try of the season, with Forsans unable to reduce the deficit further.  

The hosts thought they had added breathing space between them and Montpellier when replacement Reda Wardi crossed the whitewash, only for his try to be chalked off by the TMO for an offside in the build-up. 

However, the hosts would go on to open up a nine-point advantage when West kicked his second and third penalties of the game, with 10 minutes left to play.  

The 30-year-old then kicked another three-pointer in the final stages of the game to cement La Rochelle’s semi-final status where they will now face the winner of Racing 92 and Sale Sharks. 

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