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PREVIEW: Can Bordeaux upset European champs La Rochelle in second Top 14 semi?

The final ticket to the 2022-23 Top 14 Grand Final is up for grabs at the Reale arena this Sunday with La Rochelle taking on the Bordeaux Begles, who sprung something of a surprise by beating Lyon away from home in last weekend’s quarter-finals.

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Who will grab the final ticket to the big show? Darry Worthington gives his views on that as he previews Sunday's semi-final clash.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Sunday 10 June

La Rochelle 1/4 | Draw 28/1 | Bordeaux 31/10


Like Toulouse, La Rochelle had the weekend off last time round as they managed to also avoid the play-offs courtesy of finishing second place on the log. The reigning Heineken Cup Champions finished the regular season only three points adrift of Toulouse at the top of the ladder winning 17 of their regular season fixtures.

Unlike their opponents for Saturday, Bordeaux were involved in the play-offs and their fixture was an absolute back on forth affair with Lyon. The Begles went 5-0 up early in the fixture but Lyon would go into the break 17-8 up courtesy of two tries and a penalty.

Bordeaux would then hit back after half-time with a converted try but a penalty by Lyon extended Le Wolves lead to 20-15 with 13 minutes left on the board. A counter attack from a nothing chip kick would see Madosh Tambwe cross for his first try of the evening and give Bordeaux the lead for the first time in the fixture.

Lyon would draw level, however, with five minutes left in the fixture. It would be Tambwe who had the last say though, with the former Golden Lions flyer scoring his second in the 78th-minute to secure Bordeaux’s place in the final.

While Bordeaux did impress last week but it was more a case of them taking advantage of Lyon’s mistakes than actually playing brilliant rugby themselves. I reckon La Rochelle won’t make near as many mistakes this weekend and will keep their double hopes alive with a win here.

La Rochelle at 1/4.

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