Ulster beat La Rochelle to keep European hopes alive

Nick Timoney dives over the line to score Ulster's third and final try
European Champions Cup Pool 1
Ulster (10) 20
Tries: Best, Stockdale, Timoney Con: Cooney Pen: Cooney
La Rochelle (6) 13
Try: Bales Con: Bales Pens: Bales 2

Ulster have swept to the top of Pool One in the European Champions Cup after a dogged win over La Rochelle.

Tries by Rory Best, Jacob Stockdale and Nick Timoney earned the home side a deserved 20-13 victory in grey and soggy conditions at Kingspan Stadium.

Scrum-half Alexi Bales scored all of La Rochelle’s points as the visitors scrambled to a losing bonus point.

The win leaves Ulster with a one point lead over La Rochelle before their trip to Wasps in the final round.

During a tense final quarter, neither team could get another score as La Rochelle desperately sought a second try to equalise while Ulster were unable to deny their opponents a consolation point, which leaves both teams in contention going into the final round of matches.

More to follow

Ulster: C Piutau; C Gilroy, L Ludik, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; C Lealiifano, J Cooney; C Black, R Best (capt), R Ah You; A O’Connor, I Henderson; M Rea, S Reidy, N Timoney.

Replacements: R Herring (for R Best, 73), K McCall (for C Black, 58), R Kane (for R Ah You, 64), K Treadwell (for M Rea, 58), C Henry (for S Reidy, 64), D Shanahan, J McPhillips (for C Lealiifano, 73), D Cave (for C Gilroy, 27).

La Rochelle: K Murimurivalu; G Lacroix, G Doumayrou, P Aguillon, V Rattez; J Sinzelle, A Bales; D Priso, P Bourgarit, U Atonio, J Eaton, M Tanguy, L Botia, K Gourdon, V Vito.

Replacements: Jean-Charles Orioli (for P Bourgarit, 64), V Pelo (for D Priso, 64), M Boughanmi (for U Atonio, 64), G Lamboley (for M Tanguy, 64), A Amosa (for V Vito, 64), T Kerr Barlow (for A Bales, 61), B Nobles (for Jordaan, 65), P Jordaan (for G Lacroix, 11).

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