Challenge Cup wrap: Maximum for Gloucester

Date published: December 8 2016

Gloucester overcame La Rochelle 35-14 while the Grenoble and Ospreys fixture was postponed in the Challenge Cup on Thursday.

Gloucester 35-14 La Rochelle

Gloucester took the initiative in Pool 1 of the Challenge Cup as they claimed a bonus-point win over La Rochelle at Kingsholm.

The Cherry and Whites were leading 22-7 at half-time after bouncing back well from being 0-7 adrift following an eighth minute score from flank Kevin Gourdan. It came from sustained pressure on the Gloucester try-line with Zack Holmes knocking over the relatively simple extras.

Centre Mark Atkinson got them level with a converted try and then Greig Laidlaw slotted a penalty on 24 minutes to push them 10-7 ahead.

Loosehead prop Josh Hohneck and wing Ollie Thorley then crossed in the next 10 minutes before Laidlaw extended the cushion to 15 points.

Hope came for La Rochelle when wing David Raikuna scored three minutes into the second period, but Laidlaw was on-target again soon after, making it 25-14 until the 66th minute when the Scotland international scrum-half called for the tee once again to push his side 28-14 up.

At that point it seemed more likely Gloucester would extend their lead rather than La Rochelle set up a grandstand finish and so it proved as a late score from centre Matt Scott secured the bonus-point that moves the Cherry and Whites five points clear of the French outfit in Pool 1.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Atkinson, Hohneck, Thorley, Scott
Cons: Laidlaw 3
Pens: Laidlaw 3

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Gourdon, Raikuna
Cons: Holmes 2

Gloucester: 15 David Halaifonua, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Joe Latta, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Charlie Sharples, 23 Lewis Ludlow

La Rochelle: 15 Vincent Rattez, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Steve Barry, 12 Botia Veivuke, 11 David Raikuna, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 7 Victor Vito, 6 Kevin Gourdon, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Damien Lagrange, 20 Romain Sazy, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Brock James, 23 Elliot Roudil

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)


Grenoble P-P Ospreys

The match between Grenoble and Ospreys at Stade des Alpes was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

After consultation with the respective head coaches, referee Marius Mitrea decided that certain parts of the playing surface were not fit for the fixture to go ahead as scheduled.

It is envisaged that the Pool 2 match will be played on Friday at the same venue with EPCR set to communicate further details as soon as practicable.

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