Burns night as Gloucester reach Challenge Cup final

Updated: 

Billy Burns scored all of Gloucester's points as they produced a heroic performance to beat Top 14 leaders La Rochelle 16-14 at fortress Stade Marcel Deflandre and reach the European Challenge Cup final.

La Rochelle were firm favourites to face either Stade Francais or Bath in a showdown at Murrayfield on May 12, but Gloucester stunned a partisan crowd to stay in the hunt to regain a trophy they won in 2015.

Fly-half Burns raced to a superb breakaway try and nailed 11 points with the boot on a famous night for a Gloucester side who are only eighth in the Premiership.

David Humphreys' men were outstanding in defence, conceding just the one try to Damien Lagrange. Brock James missed two penalties, a conversion and a drop-goal attempt in the second half as La Rochelle crashed out.

Burns and James scored two penalties apiece in a tense first half in which defences were firmly on top and no quarter given with so much at stake.

The assured Burns put Gloucester back in front from the tee 15 minutes into the second half and showed a great turn of foot to dart away and go under the posts after showing great awareness to intercept a stray pass inside his own 22.

Burns added the extras and, although Lagrange went over to cut the gap to only two points with 14 minutes remaining, the Cherry and Whites held on after James missed the conversion and a couple of long -ange penalties, as well as a drop-goal attempt.