Marcelo Bosch scored twice as Biarritz cruised to a four-try 32-6 Heineken Cup victory over Zebre in Parma on Saturday.
Marcelo Bosch scored twice as Biarritz cruised to a 32-6 Heineken Cup victory over Zebre in Parma on Saturday and notched up what could yet be a vital bonus point.
Biarritz were heavy favourites against the new Italian outfit that has yet to win a game in 17 attempts this season and the last thing the hosts needed was to be reduced to 14 men inside the opening five minutes.
That is exactly what happened though as full-back Paolo Buso was sent to the sin bin for cynically denying the visitors a chance to run in the first try of the match in the left-hand corner.
Dimitri Yachvili got the scoreboard ticking with the resultant penalty and the opening try then materialised straight from the kick-off as Benoit Baby launched an incisive counter attack from inside his own 22 and finished the move by diving over in the left-hand corner. Baby spotted a gap in the Zebre defensive line and burst past a couple of forwards out wide before feeding Damien Traille and Aled Brew and following the ball to apply the finishing touch himself.
Luciano Orquera did kick two penalties to one more from Yachvili to keep the home side in the game at the half-hour mark but Biarritz went into the break with a 20-6 lead after Baby made another great break and offloaded for Bosch to score.
Zebre managed to frustrate their illustrious opponents for large portions of the second half as the Frenchmen searched for the bonus point but Baby and Bosch were at it again just before the hour mark, exploiting the space out wide, and the latter crossed for his second and his side's third try of the game.
And, whilst Biarritz were made to wait until five minutes from time to secure that all-important bonus point, there was an inevitability about it as the pressure mounted on the hosts.
Replacement Seremaia Burotu powered onto a deft short pass from former England full-back Iain Balshaw to score the crucial try as the French side keep alive their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Pens: Orquera 2
Yellow card: Buso
Tries: Baby, Bosch 2, Burotu
Cons: Yachvili 3
Pens: Yachvili 2
Zebre: 15 Paolo Buso, 14 Matteo Pratichetti, 13 Gonzalo Garcia, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Mike Van Vuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Alberto Benettin, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.
Biarritz: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Iain Balshaw, 13 BenoÃ®t Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 JÃ©rÃ´me Thion, 3 EugÃ¨ne Van Staden, 2 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Arnaud Heguy, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Julien Peyrelongue, 23 SeremaÃ¯a Burotu.