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Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing

La Rochelle’s Kevin Gourdon

La Rochelle thrashed Enisei for the second time in quick succession as they followed up last weekend’s 82-21 success with a 64-26 victory in the European Challenge Cup on Friday.


Having run in 12 tries in the reverse fixture in Russia, the French side took their tally to 22 in two games by racking up 10 scores in another comfortable success.

There were nine different try scorers – with full-back Romaric Camou the only man to cross twice – as flanker Kevin Gourdon and Paul Jordaan were among the others to dot down, with Enisei having to play the final 53 minutes a man down following Maxim Gargalic’s red card.

Northampton Saints got their campaign up and running against the Dragons by claiming a 35-21 victory.

Most of the damage was done early on as Northampton raced into a 21-0 half-time lead when their opponents were down to 13 men due to Lewis Evans and Adam Warren’s yellow cards.

In Friday’s other game, French side Agen secured a narrow 20-19 success over Italian club Benetton Treviso.

In other news:

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Flankly 9 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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