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Jason Eaton and Julien Bonnaire fight as La Rochelle claims famous win

BY Grant Constable  ·  Monday Feb 2, 2015

La Rochelle upset Clermont 16-12  in the Top 14 on Saturday thanks to a late try by Mali Hingano. Earlier in the game there was a bit of an ugly incident however, with Kiwi Jason Eaton unleashing on French international Julien Bonnaire.

After a dour first half that featured penalty exchanges by Peter Grant and Brock James, things heated up early in the second, as Eaton and Bonnaire came to blows.

Both players were sin-binned, however it looked as though former All Black Eaton certainly got the better of the exchange, landing a few shots to the face of Bonnaire, who must have done something that wasn’t quite visible from the camera angles.

Bonnaire was furious with the loss, but said post match that the Six Nations break will be good for his side, who are still joint top of the table with Toulon and Stade Francais.

Regarding the incident with Eaton, he said he was unsure what started it, but will watch the footage.

“He (Eaton) said it was me who started it.. I’ll have to see the video, but I don’t think I caused much,” Bonnaire said. He also mentioned that he has three stitches above his right eyebrow, but wasn’t too bothered, adding that it is simply an occupational hazard.

The win gave La Rochelle much needed points as they fight the relegation battle. 

View the dramatic finish to the match, including a slippery Peter Grant conversion, on page two

credit: Boucherie Ovalie

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