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Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle beat Montpellier to reach Champions Cup semis

By PA
La Rochelle's Fijian centre Levani Botia eyes the ball during the European Rugby Champions Cup round of 8 rugby union match between Stade Rochelais (La Rochelle) and Montpellier Herault Rugby at the Marcel Flandreau Stadium in La Rochelle (Photo by XAVIER LEOTY/AFP via Getty Images)

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La Rochelle booked their place in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals with a 31-19 win over Montpellier at the Stade Marcel Deflandre.

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Dany Priso scored under the posts to settle the hosts, with Ihaia West converting and also adding a penalty inside the opening 20 minutes.

Victor Vito went over to further extend the lead, with West again adding the additional points.

Montpellier gave themselves hope heading into the break with a try from prop Henry Thomas, which was converted by Louis Foursans-Bourdette to reduce the deficit to 17-7.

The visitors continued their momentum as Yvan Reilhac drove over from a loose ball, but Levani Botia’s try in the corner soon restored La Rochelle’s cushion.

A try from Zach Mercer on the left flank kept Montpellier in touch before West landed three penalties, taking his total points tally to 16, to push La Rochelle through to a semi-final against either Top 14 rivals Racing 92 or Sale Sharks.

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