Top 14 – Barometer La Rochelle – Montpellier: Tawera Kerr-Barlow at the forefront of the fight, Enzo Forletta in pain

Lackluster, but after a great fight Rochelais beat Montpellier, who may regret forgetting the bonus for the defense at the end of the game. Like his team, Tawera Kerr-Barlow stood out in defense.


The flyhalf is regaining his confidence. Despite stiff competition from Hugo Reus for his position, Antoine Hastoy is still La Rochelle’s champion and continues his return to prominence. Against Montpellier, one of the big losers on Fabien Galthie’s roster for the tournament, he produced a very clean copy. His accurate and efficient kicking game allowed La Rochelle to be in the Montpellier camp often. By precisely alternating between passing wide and working with the forwards, he allowed himself to be stupid, like this beautiful drive in the first period, which led to a try. Accurate against poles (3/4). In short, Antoine Hastoy in international form.

Another good game for the French under-20 international. Louis Penverne continues his work in the absence of Rochelais mobilized for the 6 Nations Tournament and we can say that the left post is a tribute to his talent. Dominant in the scrum, very mobile, offers plenty of solutions in attack and doesn’t give the impression that he has only six games as a professional. “Louis Penverne, we saw why he was very successful in the French under-20 team, he rejoiced O’Gara after the defeat at Toulon. It has a great future, it is a new generation of pillars.” 65 minutes at this level at his young age (20 years), it is difficult.

The qualities of the New Zealand scrum-half are well known and we were not surprised when he finished the first half with eight successful tackles and none missed. But still, what a warrior! Especially since Kerr-Barlow never tackles when he takes opponents to the ground, no, he defends by moving forward and allowing his team to regain the lead (13 games in total). Still without the ball, the former All Black saved several shots, such as his return (x2) against Anthony Bouthier. In attack, if he was denied an attempted misunderstanding with one of his teammates in the role of a relay player after a touch from five meters, he distributed well with a desire to build speed.

Also read: La Rochelle hold on to their place against Montpellier in a fierce match

Starting in place of Simmonds, a luxury substitute, Marco Tauleigne accepted the fight in Marcel-Deflandre. The former UBB player caused La Rochelle’s defense problems, especially when MHR decided to play in the middle and carry the ball. Six defenders beaten and more than 60 meters gained with the ball in hand, the third line allowed MHR to believe and hold on to La Rochelle for a long time. He finished the match as the best tackler (15).


A complex match for the MHR pillar. Enzo Forletta suffered from La Rochelle’s strength and was unable to advance with the ball in hand. Worse, he destroyed several positive actions of his team. Examples ? His neck-clinching in a clearing after several spells at Montpellier or his percussion on the half-hour when he was brought down by the big arms of the La Rochelle defenders. In addition, he received a penalty in a closed scrum and did not show his advantage.

It wasn’t a match for him. The wingers had no say in this battle between Rochelais and Montpellier. Patrice Collaza’s men decided to challenge Maritimes head on and it worked quite well for more than half time. But Arthur Vincent must not have had much joy. Cleaned up in attack, he was not to his advantage in defense either (3 successful interceptions to 2 missed). If he’s not the only one to blame for Brice Dulin’s try, how could Montpellier’s three-quarter-time streak have been so easily fooled?

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