La Rochelle wins the first European Cup in its history thanks to a feat against the Irish of Leinster

The Irish will surely speak of a robbery of the Rochelais. After being led for a large part of the meeting, Grégory Alldritt’s teammates achieved a last fifteen minutes of madness to win in the snatch (24-21) against the Irish of Leinster in the final of the European Cup. Europe, Saturday May 28.

Here arises a question of affinity and subjectivity. What do we prefer? La Rochelle and its crazy raises allowed by a bunch of scrap dealers, but with its share of waste and its errors. Or, do we favor a clinical Irish score, with a minimalist but darned effective offensive animation, and the paw of a penal opener who makes the slightest fault on the opponent’s side.


In a molten Velodrome stadium, the first philosophy prevailed over the second. Thanks to hungry forwards and an impeccable West at the foot, the Rochelais won the first major title in their history. The last try to win symbolizes the abnegation of a team that has never given up. It is marked by Arthur Retière half on the ground at the end of the ruck, which extends his arm to offer the release to a whole stage. A test then validated on foot by Ihaia West.

Unbelievable !  Stade Rochelais manages to score a third try against Leinster and will probably win the European title.  Retière infiltrates and extends his arm to flatten on the line.  The Orange Vélodrome is melting!

Hampered by a particularly aggressive La Rochelle defense, the Leinstermen failed to succeed in the game that had allowed them to ride on the competition so far (49 points and 6.7 tries on average per game). They relied on their master and captain: international fly-half Johnny Sexton. Thanks to his 18 points against the poles, his team, managing to score almost at each incursion into the maritime camp, has long thought of holding its fifth star.

But Leinster always remained close to the score and the stadium, two-thirds from La Rochelle, pushed its foals into stoppage time. Even reduced to 14 after the yellow card received by Thomas Lavault (65th), the Maritimes still pounded and again the Irish defensive line. If the first try of the match signed Raymond Rhule (6-7, 10th) comes from a magnificent recovery of three-quarters, the work of the forwards in touch, then up close, is at the origin of that of Pierre Bourgarit (18 -15, 61st), then the momentum which precedes that of Retière (79th).

At the end of the suspense, Stade Rochelais won the supreme title thanks to a try from Retière (21-24).  Long victims of their indiscipline, the Maritimes suffered the address at the foot of Sexton.  One after the disappointment in the final, La Rochelle takes its revenge in a stadium in fusion!

The frustration of the final lost last year against Stade Toulouse is erased. La Rochelle joins Toulouse, Brive and Toulon, in the closed club of French clubs having won the Champions Cup.

Leave a Comment