Following last season’s highs, La Rochelle started the new campaign stammered with Ronan O’Gara’s side suffering a third straight loss to start their league campaign.
a Rochelle fell 23-22 against Clermont Auvergne away on Saturday night, leaving them just two bonus points lost in their first three games after previous defeats against reigning national and European champions Toulouse and Racing 92.
Former La Rochelle rugby manager Jono Gibbes is now at the helm of Clermont, who has seen O’Gara take the reins as manager this season.
However, although La Rochelle reached both the Top 14 and the Champions Cup final in 2020/21 – losing to Toulouse in both matches – the team has started badly this season.
O’Gara’s side failed to score a try against Clermont in the eight-point loss at the Marcel Michelin Stadium, with one try on either side of the home side’s break proving decisive.
A mitigating factor for O’Gara is that his side were given a brutal fixture list to start the season, with an opening weekend clash with the Toulouse heavyweights followed by clashes against two playoff teams. stars from last season.
However, a home game next weekend against newly promoted Biarritz is quickly entering the Irish legend’s must-see territory.