Finn Russell reacts as Racing 92 Champions Cup dream ended by La Rochelle

Finn Russell's hopes of lifting this season’s Heineken Champions Cup are over Racing 92 suffered defeat to La Rochelle in Sunday's semi-final in Lens.

Finn Russell of Racing 92 is tackled by La Rochelle's Tawara Kerr-Barlow during the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Finn Russell of Racing 92 is tackled by La Rochelle's Tawara Kerr-Barlow during the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The Scotland fly-half - who scored a stunning individual try in last week's quarter-final win over Sale - was on the losing side this time as La Rochelle claimed a 20-13 victory to secure their spot in the final for a second successive season.

Russell and his Racing team-mates were left to rue missed opportunities as they relinquished a 10-8 first-half lead.

"We didn't go in at half-time as far ahead as we wanted," Russell told BT Sport afterwards.

"Second half we had a couple of chances, we didn't manage to finish them off. Off their driving maul, we got two yellow cards, they score a penalty try. It was a frustrating game.

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"For most of the game I'd say we were the better team but in knock-out rugby it's the team that has the most points at the end that is the better team, effectively.

"It's frustrating for us. We put everything into this tournament and we've come up short.

"For us we've got to get straight back into the league next week. We'll look at Europe again next year but that will come next saeson. We'll review the game but we've got to get straight back into next week away to Montpellier and try to win the Top 14 now."

La Rochelle staged a second-half comeback to get the better of their fellow French side and will now face Leinster in a fortnight's time at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

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Nolann Le Garrec opened the scoring for Racing with an early penalty and they scored the first try of the game in the 26th minute when Virimi Vakatawa found a gap in the defence to touch down. Le Garrec added the extras.

La Rochelle worked their way back into the game and Ihaia West's penalty and Gregory Alldritt's try made the score 10-8 at the break.

A Le Garrec penalty added another three points for Racing 10 minutes into the second half, but La Rochelle took the lead in the 53rd minute after being awarded a penalty try, with Racing's Cedate Gomes Sa sent to the sin bin.

West cemented a spot in the final with a try in the 80th minute.

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