France star went head-to-head with Springbok legend and won
La Rochelle’s match with Ulster on Saturday was made for No8s, or fish, as the match was played in some unique conditions.
Seeing as the match was 0-0 after an hour and only 3-0 to Ulster at 80 minutes, this was not exactly a game for running rugby. Both packs stood up, but La Rochelle No8 Gregory Alldritt was exceptional.
Up against an all time great No8, Duane Vermeulen, the Frenchman needed a top performance, which he provided.
Hard yards in tight spaces is what the South African World Cup winner built his reputation on, and that is exactly what he brought at the Stade Marcel Deflandre. But Alldritt did the very same in his performance, while also putting in a defensive masterclass. His workrate, especially in the build up to Joel Sclavi’s last minute try, but also throughout the 80 minutes perfectly showed why he is viewed as one of the very best No8s in the world at the moment.
Yoe Rugby has shared a highlights reel of his game, as La Rochelle aim to retain the Heineken Champions Cup. Take a look:
In what was an agonising loss to Ulster, head coach Dan McFarland said after the match: “It’s heartbreaking, but the bottom line is I was really proud of what they produced.
“We’ve lost a game right at the end, but the bottom line is they’re European champions for a reason – they won that game, I don’t think we lost it.”
“They won because when they needed to, they produced the goods. It was tough going and I thought we were excellent.”
McFarland also questioned some of the refereeing in the first half: “I believe we should have had a penalty try when we were completely dominating them five metres from their line around 35 minutes. They got a yellow card.
“We had our moment when we were dominant and they offended so many times on those mauls that I think it should have been a penalty try.
“When they had theirs five metres out, they dominated enough to get the score and that was the difference.”