Champions Cup Highlights: La Rochelle 32 Leinster Rugby 23

Champions Cup Highlights: La Rochelle 32 Leinster Rugby 23

La Rochelle knocked off four time champions Leinster with a 32-23 home win in the Champions Cup Semi-Finals. Ross Byrne missed an early penalty attempt, but Leinster piled on the early pressure, which saw Wiaan Liebenberg pick up a yellow card due to repeated infrindgments by La Rochelle deep in their own 22. Leinster capitalized immediately, as Tadhg Furlong muscled over from close range to put the visitors up 7-0. Ihaia West booted La Rochelle on the board with a penalty and then nailed a drop goal shortly after to make it 7-6. Leinster kept the scoreboard ticking over, slotting two penalties to open up a 13-6 lead. However, that would be cancelled out as La Rochelle kicked two penalties inide the final ten minutes of the first half to trail by a single point, 13-12 at the break. The sides traded early second half penalties before James Lowe saw yellow for not rolling away at the breakdown with La Rochelle surging in the Leinster 22. The resulting La Rochelle penalty took the home side in front for the first time in the match, up 18-16. West struck the post with a long range penalty around the hour mark, but six minutes later Gregory Alldritt forced his way over the line to make it a two score ball at 25-16. Big Will Skelton powered his way over the line with around 5 minutes remaining to all but wrap up the match, with Ross Byrne crossing for a consolation late score shortly after. The result sets up an all French affair in the Champions Cup Final, as Toulouse and La Rochelle do battle for the title.



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