La Rochelle put breathing space between themselves and bottom spot as they beat Agen 23-6 with a bonus point at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday.
The win moves them up to tenth place in the Top 14 as Agen remain bottom.
Fly-half Zack Holmes built a 6-0 lead by the 19 minute mark before Agen responded soon after via the boot of their own pivot, Bautista Guemes.
Agen were then reduced to 14 men for a ten-minute period as loosehead prop Viliamu Afatia was yellow carded by referee Adrien Descottes.
Just as it looked like the visitors would survive without conceding any points during the spell, powerful Fijian centre Lepani Botia went over for the hosts, with Australian playmaker Holmes adding the extra two points for a 13-3 advantage as the teams went in for half-time.
Agen replacement Burton Francis reduced the gap to seven points 16 minutes after the turnaround but their hopes of a comeback were short-lived.
Back came La Rochelle with a try from full-back Benjamin Lapeyre before replacement Alexander Northam crossed whilst Agen's George Tilsley was in the sin-bin.
Suddenly the home side were 23-6 in front and heading for a bonus point, which is what they in fact managed in a good showing.
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Botia, Lapeyre, Northam
Pens: Holmes 2
Pens: Guemes, Francis
Yellow Cards: Afatia, Tilsley
La Rochelle: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Charles Bouldoire, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Lepani Botia Veivuke, 11 Gabriel Lacroix, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Jules Lebail, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Afaesetiti Amosa, 6 Zeno Kieft, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Thomas Synaeghel.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Leandro Cedaro, 19 Romain Sazy, 20 Julien Audy, 21 Fabien Fortassin, 22 Alexander Northam, 23 Vincent Pelo.
Agen: 15 Benoit Sicart, 14 George Tilsley, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Lionel Mazars, 11 Pierre Fouyssac, 10 Bautista Guemes, 9 Alexis Bales, 8 Marc Baget-Rabarou, 7 Marc Giraud, 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 William Demotte, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Mike Tadjer, 1 Viliamu Afatia.
Replacements: 16 Jalil Narjissi, 17 Dave Ryan, 18 Corentin Braendlin, 19 Antoine Erbani, 20 Clement Darbo, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Eroni Vasiteri, 23 Ruaan du Preez.
Referee: Adrien Descottes