A late try by Sclavi sends La Rochelle to the last 16 of the Champions Cup

A late try by Sclavi sends La Rochelle to the last 16 of the Champions Cup

La Rochelle prop Joel Sclavi scored an 81st-minute try as the champions beat Ulster 7-3 on Saturday to book their place in the Champions League round of 16.

Argentina international Sclavi sank in torrential rain on the Atlantic coast after Nathan Doak scored the visitors’ only points shortly after the hour mark.

“It wasn’t pretty, one for purists,” La Rochelle forwards coach Donnacha Ryan told BT Sport.

“The last three minutes, there was fantastic character from the guys, a huge sense of confidence and we’re happy to have won at the end.”

The Irish side host Sale next weekend, with both teams needing a win to advance from the group stage.

The match remained goalless at half time after La Rochelle fly-half Antoine Hastoy and visiting scrum-half Doak missed shots on target.

Ulster winger Rob Lyttle also had a 36th-minute try ruled out by the match referee on television.

Doak opened the scoring, despite the heavy downpour, with 25 minutes remaining as the 1999 champions pulled within an upset victory against opponents who last lost at home in the competition in November 2019.

French No. 8 Gregory Alldritt also had a score canceled with 11 minutes remaining as the French team, led by Ronan O’Gara, went for the winning try, rejecting chances to equalize with a penalty.

His efforts were rewarded after the clock ticked past 80 minutes when Sclavi opened his tally for the season with a pick-and-go from close range.

– New to France? –

Earlier, Australian-born lock Emmanuel Meafou said he hoped to be named in France’s Six Nations squad after scoring to help five-time winners Toulouse beat Sale 27-5 to secure their place in the knockout phase. play off.

France’s squad will be named on Tuesday, but the 2.03m, 140kg second row is unable to play for his adopted country before receiving citizenship, which he will reportedly get in time for the third round match against Scotland on the 26th. February.

“Our guys fought hard, it’s good to get the win here,” Meafou told BT Sport.

“Every week I try to go and play my best game and if the international call-up comes I hope I’m ready for that, I’m just focusing on playing well for Toulouse now.”

Four-time winners Leinster also reached the knockout stage when they defeated Gloucester 49-14.

The Durban Sharks became the first South African team to reach the last 16 of the Champions Cup by easily beating Bordeaux-Begles 32-3.

Later on Saturday, Elliot Daly scored a hat-trick seven minutes into the first half as the three-time champions Saracens, without suspended England captain Owen Farrell, defeated Lyon 48-28 to advance.

Leicester Tigers were the first team to advance to the next stage after the English club beat Clermont 44-29 on Friday.

The Ospreys are also in contention for the knockout rounds after a 35-29 win over Montpellier despite being outscored five tries to four.

On Sunday, the three-time runners-up Racing 92 play the Harlequins.

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