La Rochelle beat Bayonne to go top

La Rochelle took another step towards the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a 24-14 victory at Bayonne on Thursday.

The Top 14 high-fliers are four points clear of Gloucester - who play Benetton Treviso in their game in hand on Saturday - at the top of Pool 1 after outscoring the home side by three tries to one at Stade Jean-Dauger.

La Rochelle hammered Bayonne 42-17 on the same ground when the two sides met just before Christmas, but the margin of victory was not as emphatic this time around.

Tries from Leo Cedaro and Mohamed Boughanmi as well as seven points from the boot of Brock James put La Rochelle 17-9 to the good at half-time, with Raphael Lagarde slotting over three penalties for the bottom side in the Top 14.

Botia Veivuke touched down early in the second half and James added the extras, but La Rochelle were unable to claim a bonus point and Bastien Fuster scored a consolation try for a Bayonne side who are rooted to the bottom of the Pool.

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