La Rochelle registered a 24-14 win over Bayonne at Stade Jean-Dauger after leading 17-9 at half time in the Challenge Cup on Thursday.
The hosts were twice reduced to 14 men, once in each half, which contributed to their downfall.
Raphael Lagarde opened the scoring with a penalty for Bayonne as early as the fourth minute before Brock James got La Rochelle on the board a few minutes later. Lagarde added his second, but four minutes later Adam Jaulhac was sent off.
La Rochelle took full advantage almost immediately afterwards when Leandro Cedaro went over for the first try of the match, which James promptly converted.
Lagarde pulled three points back with his third penalty, but La Rochelle landed a hammer blow on the stroke of half time when Mohamed Boughanmi went over for his side’s second try for a 17-9 half-time lead.
The visitors effectively killed the game right after the break after Levani Botia scored their third try to give La Rochelle a 22-9 lead, which was again converted by James.
Bayonne received their second yellow card after Julien Jane got a yellow card on the 52nd minute mark which stalled a possible fightback.
La Rochelle managed to control the game until Alexis Bales was sent off to give the hosts a glimmer of hope that they might be able to get something out of this game.
However, they failed to capatalise, but was able to score a consolation try in the 80th minute through Bastien Fuster to give some credibility to the scoreline.
Pens: Lagarde 3
Yellow Card: Jane, Joulhac
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Cedaro, Boughanmi, Botia
Cons: James 3
Yellow Card: Bales
Bayonne: 15 Julien Tisseron, 14 Bastien Fuster, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Adam Whitelock, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Raphael Lagarde, 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 Pieter Jan Van Lill, 7 Johnnie Beattie, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Guillaume Ducat, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Jérôme Schuster
Replacements: 16 Jose Ramon Ayarza, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Toma Taufa, 19 Pelu Ian Taele, 20 Manu Saubusse, 21 Martin Laveau, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse
La Rochelle: 15 Arthur Retiere, 14 Steeve Barry, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Botia Veivuke, 11 David Raikuna, 10 Brock James, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 7 Afa Amosa, 6 Jason Eaton, 5 Leo Cedaro, 4 Damien Lagrange, 3 Mohamed Boughanmi, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 David Feao, 18 Lekso Kaulashvili, 19 Mathieu Tanguy, 20 Charlie Francoz, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Kini Murimurivalu
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Kieran Barry (Ireland), Chris Harrington (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)