December 12, 2021
Stade Rochelais 20 - 13 Glasgow Warriors
Champions Cup match played at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday December 12th 2021 | No comments
Kyle Steyn's try put Glasgow ahead early in the second-half Glasgow Warriors lost out to Stade Rochelais in their Champions Cup opener in France this afternoon.
After 50 minutes Warriors led last season's finalists 13-10 but the hosts grabbed 10 match-winning points when Rory Darge was in the sin-bin for collapsing a maul.
Having twice led in the game at Stade Marcel Deflandre, there was no way back after that for the Warriors, who left with a losing bonus point.
Glasgow points came via a Kyle Steyn try and eight points from the boot of Ross Thompson, but they will now likely have to beat Exeter at home next weekend to stand any real chance of progressing.
La Rochelle notched two tries through prop Reda Wardi and replacement Eneriko Buliruarua, while Ihaia West kicked two penalties and two conversions for the hosts.
Glasgow Warriors Assistant Coach Kenny Murray admitted that there was a sense of 'what could have been' in the dressing room following the full-time whistle.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," he told glasgowwarriors.org post-match.
"They're one of the top sides in Europe as they proved last season, and they're definitely the best attacking side we've played this season.
"To be within a try and a chance to draw the game at the end is a positive, but the lads are obviously a wee bit disappointed we haven't come away with more than just the losing bonus-point.
"We started the match really well and got into the lead, only to let them back in. We know the areas that we need to improve going forward, and we'll look to address those this week.
"We attacked really well in the first half-hour and arguably deserved to be ahead by more than we were," he said.
"Small things make a big difference at this level, though.
"We know that to compete with the best in Europe, we need to be that extra wee bit clinical and a bit more physical."
The Warriors won't have to wait too long for their next fixture as 2020 champions Exeter make the trip to Scotstoun next weekend - 23 months since Glasgow's last home tie in European competition.
"We've got a short turnaround this week - effectively we have one day of recovery and a couple of training days before we play Exeter," said Murray.
"In a lot of ways, they're very similar to La Rochelle. They're a very physical unit who try to play a lot of rugby, and we know we'll have to be at our best defensively.
"The boys are looking forward to the challenge, though, especially in front of a packed out Scotstoun - it's been too long since we played a European match in front of the Warrior Nation."