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If past results are anything to go by, Bath Rugby look to be facing a daunting task on Saturday, when they travel to Stade Rochelais for the first time in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Stade Rochelais have won seven of their nine home games in the competition, including each of the last four, while Bath have lost their last six away games in it, with three of those defeats being by more than 25 points.
The Pool A match kicks off at 5.30pm UK and Irish time, and can be seen live on beIN Sports and BT Sport.
Other key facts:
- The teams were scheduled to play in Round 2 of last season’s competition before the game was cancelled, with the TOP 14 side being awarded a 28-0 win, while their Round 2 meeting this season was postponed.
- Stade Rochelais have made 158 tackles and missed just 17 in the Heineken Champions Cup this season. Their 90% tackle success rate is the second best of any side.
- Gabriel Hamer-Webb has scored three tries in just five appearances for Bath in the Heineken Champions Cup, including one against Leinster Rugby in Bath’s opening game of this season’s competition.
Match Centre - Preview - Lineups
Lock Remi Picquette scored a try brace as Stade Rochelais cruised to a 39-21 win over Bath Rugby in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday.
Last season’s finalists were in control for much of the Pool A encounter at a foggy Stade Marcel Deflandre, with Picquette going over in either half as the hosts ran in five tries.
A pair of Pierre Popelin penalties put La Rochelle ahead early on, before Bath’s defence was breached for the first time on 17 minutes when centre Jonathan Danty went over after good work from winger Raymond Rhule.
Picquette notched his first score six minutes later – a TMO review was needed to check the grounding after the home pack bundled over the line.
Popelin, who tallied 14 points over the course of the game, converted both first-half scores to send La Rochelle into the break 20-0 up.
Bath had survived for the second part of the first half but their resistance was broken again on 43 minutes when Picquette crossed for his second with flanker Tom Ellis in the sin bin.
Could this be La Rochelle's season?
They played some scintillating stuff against Bath, including this Raymond Rhule score…
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 15, 2022
Winger Dillyn Leyds was next to get in on the try-scoring act for La Rochelle, bursting down the wing after a well-worked lineout.
Brilliant work from full-back Brice Dulin then set up Rhule to go over for the hosts’ fifth score on 55 minutes.
A flurry of Bath tries followed, however, with Johannes Jonker, Joe Simpson and Ruaridh McConnochie crossing in a sensational seven-minute blitz from the visitors.
There was no miracle comeback for Bath, though, with La Rochelle holding on to claim an important bonus point victory.
La Rochelle travel to Glasgow Warriors in Round 4 next weekend while Bath welcome Leinster Rugby to The Recreation Ground.