Edinburgh Rugby were left to rue a slow start as they lost out to La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last eight on Friday night at BT Murrayfield.

 

Twice in the first 13 minutes visiting hooker Jeremie Maurouard was propelled over the Edinburgh line for tries and it was 14-0.

Edinburgh needed a spark and it came when centre Phil Burleigh went over for converted try in the 20th minute.

However, soon after La Rochelle were 19-7 up when young scrum-half Arthur Retiere ran 60 metres for a try, brushing aside the tackle of Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn.

Winger Steve Barry then added La Rochelle’s fourth try and at 26-7 they were well in control of this one.

An unconverted effort by Edinburgh skipper Ross Ford, after a nice pass by back-row Viliame Mata, got the hosts back into things.

And early in the second half, a third try by back-row Hamish Watson converted by scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne left it at 26-19.

With 15 minutes to go La Rochelle replacement prop Lekso Kaulashvili picked up a yellow card and Edinburgh replacement Duncan Weir kicked the penalty.

In the end, two penalties from the experienced stand-off Brock James saw La Rochelle home 32-22 though.

Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge said: “Everything that we had talked about not doing during the week, we did in the first 20 minutes or so and that gave La Rochelle easy tries and we never recovered from that. I feel a bit like a broken record at the minute.”

Thanks to David Gibson/FOTOSPORT fr the photo of Hamish Watson from  the match

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