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European Watch: Hero Alofa Alofa lights up La Rochelle

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La Rochelle's French flanker Loann Goujon (r) makes his way through the Toulouse defence during the French Top 14 rugby union match. Photo credit: XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images

La Rochelle's French flanker Loann Goujon (r) makes his way through the Toulouse defence during the French Top 14 rugby union match. Photo credit: XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

La Rochelle's French flanker Loann Goujon (r) makes his way through the Toulouse defence during the French Top 14 rugby union match. Photo credit: XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images

Newly promoted La Rochelle remain rooted to the bottom of the Top 14 but produced the biggest shock of the French season so far when they notched their first win of the campaign with a 37-25 win over unbeaten Toulouse.

The hero for La Rochelle in front of a crowd of over 15,000 at Stade Marcel Deflandre was winger Alofa Alofa, fresh from his exploits in helping Michael Cheika's Waratahs win the Super 15 final in early August.

He crossed for two of their three tries to bring Toulouse's winning start to an end.

Bayonne are just above La Rochelle in the relegation zone after they fell to their second defeat of the campaign. They managed just two first-half penalties as Castres eased to their first win on a 30-6 scoreline.

Bayonne face another difficult away trip to Stade Francais this weekend, while La Rochelle travel to Bernard Jackman and Andrew Farley's Grenoble.

Exeter will kick off their Premiership campaign away to London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday after wrapping up their pre-season campaign with three victories after winning 26-6 away to Worcester Warriors. New signings Mitch Lees and Thomas Waldron got two of their four tries.

Rob Baxter's men will start the new campaign without England international Jack Nowell. The winger, who started all of England's Six Nations games, is recovering from knee surgery in May.

Irish Independent