19 - 3HT 12 - 3

Att 5,124
Sat 14 Nov 15, 3:00pm

REPORT – Warriors 19-3 La Rochelle

Warriors battled to a 19-3 victory over La Rochelle to get their European Challenge Cup campaign off to a winning start.

The game was played out in slippery conditions, which made running rugby virtually impossible for much of the game.

Ryan Lamb’s four penalties ensured Warriors would claim the points before Ben Howard’s superb individual effort secured the win at the death.

Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan made 14 changes to the side which defeated Newcastle Falcons, with Matt Cox the sole survivor from that clash.

Warriors started brightly and Lamb looked to gain his side valuable territory by kicking into touch in the away 22.

La Rochelle were able to win their own lineout but soon conceded a penalty, which Lamb duly dispatched to give Warriors a 3-0 lead.

Lamb added a second penalty before La Rochelle fly-half Charles Bouldoire got his side off the mark after 11 minutes.

The visitors were conceding penalty after penalty and Lamb made it a hat-trick of kicks after 14 minutes to put his side 9-3 ahead.

The visitors looked to play themselves into the game but struggled to win their own lineout when presented with good territory.

Warriors were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but struggled to penetrate the La Rochelle defence due to the slippery conditions underfoot.

Lamb notched a fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time as Warriors went in 12-3 ahead at the break.

The second-half began in similar fashion to the first as both sides struggled to gain possession.

Warriors had a chance to claim the first try of the afternoon when Tevita Cavubati unleased Ravai Fatiaki, who was halted just short of the line.

Bouldoire struck a penalty wide before kicking into touch at the next attempt as the visitors went in search of a try.

Midway through the second period Gareth Milasinovich came on for his Club debut, but was almost immediately sent to the sin-bin after Warriors were penalised at the scrum.

As La Rochelle looked to get back into the game, Bouldoire misjudged a penalty and saw his kick float into the in-goal area.

And when the visitors did look like finding their way to the tryline, a knock-on from Jean Pascal Barraque prevented them from doing so.

The sides played out scrum after scrum as the game entered its latter stages before a sublime solo effort from Howard, who weaved his way past the La Rochelle defence before touching down, secured the points.

Warriors: 15 Ben Howard, 14 Tom Biggs (Rees 57 [Humphreys 67]), 13 Max Stelling, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (C) (Bruzulier 50); 1 Ryan Bower, 2 Ben Sowrey (Bregvadze 54), 3 Joe Rees (Milasinovich 54), 4 Tevita Cavubati, 5 Darren O’Shea (Sanderson 67), 6 Sam Betty, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Matt Cox

Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Gareth Milasinovich, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Dan Sanderson, 20 Niall Annett, 21 JB Bruzulier, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Perry Humphreys

Competition: European Rugby Challenge Cup
Venue: Sixways
Referee: Dudley Phillips
Game Type: Home
Fixture Round:
Attendance: 5,124
No. Name T C D P
Benjamin Lapeyre
Alex Northam
Eliott Roudil
Jean-Pascal Barraque
Martin Carre
3 Charles Bouldoire 1P
Ricky Januarie
Thomas Synaeghel
0 Maxime Gau
Vincent Pelo
Damien Lagrange
Leandro Cedaro
Romana Graham
Benoit Guyot
Zeno Kieft
Benjamin Geledan
Mike Corbel
Gagi Bazadze
Jone Qovu Nailiko
Romain Sazy
Jules Lebail
Fabien Fortassin
Mali Hingano