La Rochelle (AFP)

La Rochelle finally launched its season by signing on Saturday during the 4th day of the Top 14 a first crushing success (59-17) against a team from Biarritz largely overhauled.

After having stumbled against Toulouse, Racing 92 and Clermont during the first three days, the Maritimes did not do it by halves, with nine tests registered against only two at the BO.

The New Zealand scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow, opportunist behind a dominating pack, flattened three on his own in the first half, reached with a score already final (33-0).

La Rochelle scrum-half, New Zealander Tawera Kerr-Barlow, scores one of his three tries, during the Top 14 home match against Biarritz, September 25, 2021 at Stade Marcel-Deflandre XAVIER LEOTY AFP

The former All Black did not return to the field for the second act, which his teammates were content to manage at first before pressing the accelerator again.

Arrived from Brive in the offseason, Fijian center Eneriko Buliruarua offered him a double for his first tenure under his new colors.

The three quarter center of La Rochelle, the Fijian Eneriko Buliruarua, pierces the Biarritz defense to score a home try, during the Top 14 match, on September 25, 2021 at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre XAVIER LEOTY AFP

Young winger Jules Favre, Georgian mainstay Guram Papidze and second row Rémi Picquette, in addition to a penalty try, also went behind the row.

After having surprised Bordeaux-Bègles and Racing 92 on its lawn in Aguiléra, the BO had largely turned its workforce for this trip to the Marcel-Deflandre stadium, sold out for the 57th time in a row.

Thanks to this improved success, La Rochelle is giving itself a little air at the bottom of the standings.

Biarritz should regain his strength next week for the reception of another big piece, Toulouse.

© 2021 AFP

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