La Rochelle controlled Gloucester on Friday to win their European Cup round-of-16 match 27-16 at Kingsholm.
Previously in the day, Leinster ended up being the first string to advance to the quarter-finals when they were granted a walkover against Toulon after a positive coronavirus case in the French group.
La Rochelle’s substantial pack controlled much of the video game in Gloucester.
The house team protected bravely, but were two times undone by deft offloads that established tries in the first 22 minutes.
Kevin Gourdon handed off to Dillyn Leyds who stroked over after 8 minutes.
Then Levani Botia flipped the ball to Arthur Retiere who slid in at the corner.
Determined defence and the kicking of George Barton kept Gloucester close.
After Ruan Ackermann muscled over for a try, the home group only trailed by two points at the break.
The visitors made their territorial dominance tell in the second half as Ihaia West and his replacement Jules Plisson each kicked two penalties while Gloucester just managed one Barton objective in reply.
First blow: Dillyn Leyds touched down La Rochelle’s opening attempt at Gloucester AFP/ Adrian DENNIS
La Rochelle will host Scarlets or Sale in the quarter-finals. Leinster will play protecting champs Exeter or Lyon.
” I’m extremely happy for the team,” Gourdon told British broadcaster BT. “We played a terrific match, it wasn’t simple.
La Rochelle coach, Ronan O’Gara was less pleased.
” You might see tonight we could play rugby. We were good at times and unreliable at times,” said the former Ireland fly half.
George Skivington, the Gloucester coach, said La Rochelle were “better”.
” The difference in the game is that when La Rochelle developed their opportunities they were scientific,” he said.
” I thought our defence was dazzling for 95 per cent of the video game, but on occasion we weren’t quite fast enough.”
There are 3 more matches on Saturday, including a meeting of previous winners when Munster amuse Toulouse, and three more on Sunday.