Vito-inspired La Rochelle Extend Perpignan Woes


Vito-inspired La Rochelle extend Perpignan woes

Paris, Sept 16 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 16th Sep, 2018 ) :La Rochelle's former All Black Victor Vito inspired his side to a 37-10 victory over Perpignan on Sunday, the newly-promoted Top 14 side's fourth straight defeat.

Home fly-half Ihaia West and Jonathan Bousquet traded early penalties in an error-strewn match that was tight until the hour mark.

A key moment, however, saw skipper Vito, who won 33 All Blacks caps and was a member of the double Rugby World Cup-winning squads, opted to kick for touch with a penalty instead of going for the posts, and the New Zealander's choice paid off after a knock-on at the resulting line-out.

As Perpignan's scrum wheeled, Vito deftly snapped the ball between his legs -- American football-style -- to Arthur Retiere, who took and passed in one step, in the process drawing Bousquet and allowing Vincent Rattez to dart in for a try converted by West.

Although game Perpignan responded early in the second-half through a Tom Ecochard try with the La Rochelle defence stretched, it was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened.

First Fijian Kini Murimurivalu muscled over from short range for La Rochelle, and then Geoffrey Doumayrou in front of 16,000 fans at a sun-kissed Stade Marcel-Deflandre.

Perpignan conceded a penalty try before Kiwi hooker Hikairo Forbes was bundled over for the home side's fifth try at the whistle.

It meant a fourth defeat for Perpignan after previous losses to Stade Francais, Agen and Lyon, while it was a second victory for La Rochelle.

Saturday saw replacements Yohan Beheregaray and Greig Laidlaw help Clermont grab a 27-23 victory at Pau to make it four straight Top 14 wins.

Reigning champions Castres jumped to second in the table with a 29-13 win over newly-promoted Grenoble, who like Perpignan have lost four games on the trot.

Castres are level on points with Toulouse, who dispatched Racing 92 30-17, and just ahead of Lyon, who took revenge for a heavy defeat in last season's playoffs as they crushed beaten finalists Montpellier 55-13 to make it back-to-back wins.

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