Kolisi eagerly awaits Top 14 debut: 'I can't wait to play, honestly'
La Rochelle prepared for Siya Kolisi's Racing 92 debut next weekend with a 25-21 win over Bordeaux-Begles on Sunday in the French Top 14.
READ | New York to Paris, jet-setting Bok captain Kolisi reports for duty at new club Racing
Ronan O'Gara's side moved up to eighth in the table with just their third win of the season, a week before facing Racing in Kolisi's expected first game for the Parisians.
Bordeaux-Begles dropped to 10th with their fourth loss of the campaign.
"I think we've started our season now, it will do us a lot of good, it was an important victory," O'Gara told broadcaster Canal+.
"We're in a tough period but I'm very proud of the players, and the crowd."
France winger Damian Penaud made his first Bordeaux-Begles start after his move from Clermont as ex-New Zealand scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow captained La Rochelle, two-time Champions Cup holders under former Ireland fly-half O'Gara.
Penaud's outfit led 9-8 at the break thanks to three penalties from his Test and club team-mate Matthieu Jalibert, while hooker Pierre Bourgarit crossed from a rolling maul for the hosts.
La Rochelle 25-21 Bordeaux-Begles
Stade Francais 9-13 Racing92
Bayonne 35-16 Pau
Perpignan 23-16 Montpellier
Oyonnax 38-20 Lyon
Clermont 27-30 Toulon
Castres 31-23 Toulouse
Penaud set up centre Nicolas Depoortere before crossing for a superb effort of his own after a Jalibert cross-kick and Bordeaux-Begles led 21-8 with 25 minutes to play.
But La Rochelle claimed victory thanks to Samoa centre UJ Seuteni's try and Bourgarit's second, as 19-year-old replacement flyhalf Hugo Reus slotted two conversions.
Reus then completed the comeback against their Atlantic coast rivals with a long-range penalty to make it 25-21 with nine minutes to