La Rochelle suffer first home defeat in two years as Toulouse leapfrog into top spot

Ronan O'Gara's side let an eight-point lead slip as Yoann Huget's late try stole the victory
La Rochelle suffer first home defeat in two years as Toulouse leapfrog into top spot

Toulouse’s Yoann Huget. File photo: INPHO/James Crombie

Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle suffered a first home loss in two years as a late try saw Toulouse clinch a 14-11 win to leapfrog the hosts for pole position in the Top 14.

A flying Yoann Huget try five minutes from the end completed a Toulouse comeback from eight points down at half-time to take the victory and inflict a first defeat at the Marcel Deflandre in 21 games on La Rochelle.

In a game played without their Six Nations stars, Toulouse lined up with World Cup-winning winger Cheslie Kolbe at out-half, but defences dominated the game.

Levani Botia’s try was the breakthrough score for the hosts, gathering a kick from out-half Jules Plisson to touch down after 22 minutes.

Plisson added a penalty to make it 8-0 but missed two more either side of half-time and Toulouse began to chip away at that advantage on the resumption with two penalties from centre Zack Holmes.

La Rochelle's Ihaia West kicked a penalty on his introduction after an hour but Holmes responded in kind to set up a grandstand finish.

The losing bonus point leaves La Rochelle two points behind Toulouse with Racing 92 a further point behind.

Elsewhere, Clermont Auvergne won away to the winless Agen, 52-16, to move fourth, six points off Toulouse.

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