French Top 14: Bordeaux Begles v La Rochelle Preview

League leaders La Rochelle will be looking to give their fans the perfect Christmas gift when they take on the Bordeaux Begles on Saturday the 23rd of December. 

The eighth-placed Bordeaux Begles face a massive test this weekend as table-topping La Rochelle come to town. The visitors are been in sensational form over the past few months, with their attacking brand of rugby blowing a host of big name teams out the water. And while Bordeaux have been in decent enough touch themselves, they are yet to be tested by a team as intent on attacking as La Rochelle.

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Bordeaux Begles v La Rochelle | Saturday 23 December | Matmut Atlantique | 17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 13/20 | Draw 17/1 | La Rochelle 27/20

Bordeaux Begles
The Begles have endured a mixed bag of results of late with Raphaël Ibañez charger's last five games ending with three defeats (29-13 versus Racing, 38-37 versus Toulouse, and 27-17 versus Pau), a draw (27-27 versus Brive) and a victory (33-23 versus Agen). All of their recent losses have come against the League's big guns, whilst their only victory came against a struggling Agen outfit.

They did claim some big scalps earlier in the season, beating both Toulon and Montpellier. Both of these victories came courtesy of this weekend's hosts really taking the game to their opponents with ball-in-hand. This gameplan is unlikely to reap dividends against La Rochelle though, as this weekend's visitors are most comfortable when the game is stretched.

La Rochelle
This La Rochelle outfit is fast becoming one of the most competent attacking teams in world rugby. Their electric brand of rugby has attracted admirers from all corners of the globe, with a few pundits going as far as to don them "The Hurricanes of the Northern Hemisphere".

The current Top 14 table-toppers have scored an incredible 348 points in the 12 Top 14 games they've played this term and are averaging 29 points per game. They have won five of their last six domestic fixtures, with the only blemish on their record being a 31-15 away defeat to Castres.

Verdict: La Rochelle 27/20
La Rochelle were able to rest a whole host of first stringers last week as their Champions Cup tie against Wasps was a dead rubber with the French outfit having secured qualification for the next round of the tournament a week prior. With their big guns well-rested, La Rochelle should have no issues getting one over a competent but inferior Bordeaux side. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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