Grégory Alldritt and his La Rochelle team will have the chance at an historic double after they booked their place in the Top 14 final.
Les Maritimes made it back-to-back Heineken Champions Cup victories by beating Leinster in Dublin last month, and will now look to add a first Bouclier de Brennus when they take on Toulouse at the Stade de France next Saturday.
In the scorching heat of the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, France No.8 Alldritt led from the front as La Rochelle outmuscled Bordeaux 24-13 thanks to a strong first-half performance.
After two tries for South African winger Dillyn Leyds, it was Alldritt’s deft offload to Paul Boudehent – uncapped but a regular feature in Fabien Galthié’s wider squad, that allowed La Rochelle to go in 21-3 up at the break.
Bordeaux fought back in the second half, with a penalty from Matthieu Jalibert along with a penalty try – Boudehent this time the culprit for collapsing a maul, but a late Antoine Hastoy penalty sealed victory.
Galthié will be keeping a close eye on the fitness of tighthead prop Sipili Falatea, who was forced off with a knee injury at half-time.
TOULOUSE RUN RIOT
La Rochelle will meet Toulouse in the final, as they did two years ago, after Les Rouge et Noir powered to a 41-14 win over Racing 92 on Friday night.
It turned out to be Scotland fly-half Finn Russell’s final game for Racing, but his side paid the price after failing to take an early opportunity in the Toulouse 22.
Matthis Lebel’s fine score from a clever set-piece move set the 21-time champions on their way with Emmanuel Meafou adding a second and Thomas Ramos kicking ten points for a 20-0 half-time lead.
Toulouse kept up the pressure in the second half, stretching their lead to 34-0, including one delightful inside pass from Antoine Dupont to put Arthur Retière in.
And while Gaël Fickou and Ibrahim Diallo ensured Racing did not come away pointless, François Cros had the final say with Toulouse’s fifth try at the death.