La Rochelle player ratings: Tawera Kerr-Barlow and UJ Seuteni star as defending champions rampage past Exeter Chiefs

Jared Wright
Tawera Kerr-Barlow and UJ Seuteni star as La Rochelle comprehensively defeated Exeter Chiefs 47-28 in the Champions Cup semi-final.

Following La Rochelle’s comprehensive 47-28 victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup semi-final, here are our player ratings for Ronan O’Gara’s charges.

15 Brice Dulin: One of the quieter La Rochelle players, but he was not tested by Exeter Chiefs at all. He kicked well, whether it was in open play or biting off an extra few metres with penalty kicks. Solid without being a standout. 6

14 Dillyn Leyds: A quiet contributor for O’Gara’s charges but not one that will be underappreciated. He traded full-back duties with Dulin throughout the game and stepped in at first receiver on multiple occasions. The multi-skilled South African played an excellent supporting role. 7

Seuteni stars

13 UJ Seuteni: The Samoan isn’t the most well-known name on the La Rochelle teamsheet, but he produced a memorable performance that will buy him plenty of fanfare. His try shifted momentum, and he produced a mind-blowing offload to set up Tawera Kerr-Barlow before half-time. He had the Midas touch on attack and didn’t give an inch on defence. 9

12 Jules Favre: Much was made of Jonathan Danty’s absence in the midfield, but Favre quickly eased any concerns. He made the initial bust to set La Rochelle on their way for their opening try. The glue in the backline who allowed the rest to shine. 8

11 Raymond Rhule: One poor kick was the only blight on his performance. His work-rate denied Sam Simmonds a score. Meanwhile, his predatory nature saw him pounce on his two opportunities to score. An absolute joy to watch at full flight. 8

10 Antoine Hastoy: He had a few early errors, but it mattered little in the grand scheme of things. Claimed two try assists, kicked six of his seven conversions and made his tackles. He marshalled the barnstorming attack superbly to seal a spot in the final. 8

World-class Kerr-Barlow

9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow: A strong contender for the star of the match, producing a truly world-class performance. We may see him back on the Test stage with the Wallabies, where his talents deserve to be showcased. His two tries will be remembered fondly, but it was a glorious all-round outing from passing to kicking to game management to defence. 9

Grégory Alldritt: The French number eight did it all and some – a near-perfect performance from the ridiculous talent. He topped the carrying and tackling stats for his side, scored a try, came close to another and assisted one – a threat in every single facet of the game. 9

7 Levani Botia: It took him 33 seconds to lay down a marker at the breakdown, winning a turnover. The Fijian had a blockbuster 19-minute shift, including hefty carries and being a nightmare at the rucks. Unfortunately, his game ended prematurely due to a failed HIA. 6

6 Ultan Dillane: The former Ireland international has been thriving on the side of the scrum for La Rochelle, and today’s game was no different. A handy lineout option, but his value came in the dark arts of the maul and breakdowns. He regularly managed to wiggle off Exeter players in the mauls and won two turnovers. 7

Heavyweights star

5 Will Skelton: The kind of performance you’d expect from the enormous Wallaby. He thundered into carries and tackles and was his usual destructive self, drawing in several defenders to free up his teammates. He even showed his softer skills with two offloads and five passes. 7

4 Romain Sazy: A similar performance to Dillane. There is little fuss about what Sazy does on the pitch. He knows his role well and executes it well. He is a safe lineout option, a mongrel at the breakdowns and sound on defence, and he showed that all today. 7

3 Uini Atonio: While he had some nice touches and bulking carries, the highlight of his game was clear to see the scrum. Quite frankly, he taught Scott Sio a lesson in the set-piece. 8

2 Pierre Bourgarit: He ticked all the boxes required for a hooker, finding his jumper with all of his lineout darts. He made his tackles and came up with a turnover. The icing on the cake was his try and assist. 8

Wonderful Wardi

1 Reda Wardi: The loosehead really could have done better with his tackle attempt on Sam Simmonds for Exeter’s opening try. But that was a distant memory when he left the pitch after a wonderful performance. He dominated Marcus Street in the scrums. Wardi made a nice break and threw a dummy that he will be bragging about for ages and almost did it again in the build to Kerr-Barlow’s first try. 8

Replacements: There was always going to be a bit of a drop-off after an outstanding first half, while some complacency crept in as Exeter scored late tries to make the scoreline look slightly less comprehensive. The scrum dominance did subside. The bench is saved of a lower rating thanks to the performance of Paul Boudehent, who was superb in replacing Botia. 6

READ MORE: La Rochelle steamroll Exeter Chiefs to book another final date with Leinster