• Rhule, Leyds help La Roch rout Sale

    Raymond Rhule and Dillyn Leyds both got on the scoresheet as La Rochelle beat the Sale Sharks 45-21 in the Champions Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

    Golden Rhule: Rhule has looked a transformed player since arriving at Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle side. The Springbok emphasised his renewal with a fantastic performance against Sale, scoring a quickfire second-half brace, while he also picked up a try assist with a wonderful pass on his inside. Rhule’s first try came from a brilliant line and dummy pass, while his second came after chasing a kick and toeing through the ball, before winning the race to dot it down. In total, he made 65 metres from six carries and also contributed defensively with seven tackles.

    Power pack: As fantastic as La Rochelle’s backs were, it should also be mentioned that they completely overpowered the Springbok-enforced Sale pack. The likes of Akker van der Merwe and the Du Preez twins were both very subdued, as La Rochelle dominated the scrum and breakdown.

    Gameflow: It was an evenly matched start as both sides made good inroads and were tied at 6-6 after the opening 30 minutes. However, La Rochelle threatened to pull away when France No 8 Gregory Aldritt’s try was closely followed by Dillyn Leyds going over after the Springbok sneakily knocked down a pass from Faf de Klerk and sprinted clear to score. La Rochelle were 18-16 up at the break. The second half was very much the Raymond Rhule show as he completed his brace before picking up an assist.

    Photo: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack