Planet Rugby

Biarritz not quite dead yet

18th January 2008 22:33

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Takudzwa Ngwenya USA

Star Spangled: USA wing Takudzwa Ngwenya added some much-needed spark to proceedings

Biarritz, the former Heineken Cup finalist, managed a bonus-point 25-16 victory over lowly Viadana at Parc des Sports Aquiléra on Friday - a result that keeps alive the hosts' faint hopes of play-off qualification.

Quite whether they deserve it is now for the rugby gods to decide.

The star-studded Basques were the pre-tournament favourites but have failed to impress in Pool Four.

They finish as runners-up to Saracens, with their defeat to Glasgow in Round Three and crushing loss to Saracens last weekend meaning they have to rely on others if they are to sneak into the final eight.

Biarritz threw in the towel before tonight's game by picking a second-string side and will now be in debt to USA wing Takudzwa Ngwenya who weighed in with two tries to shunt the French giant out of their stupor.

The flyer's brace came after a decidedly shaky start that saw the Italian side leading 6-0 after 25 minutes with two penalties from Calvin Howarth.

Biarritz got on the scoreboard with a penalty from Marcelo Bosch just before the half hour and scored two late tries through Jacques Cronje and Manuel Carizza.

Howarth scored a late try to restore some pride for the Italian side - 'pride' obviously being a word not known in these parts.

The scorers:

For Biarritz Olympique:

Tries: Ngwenya 2, Cronje, Carizza

Con: Bosch

Pen: Bosch

Viadana:

Try: Howarth

Con: Pilat

Pens: Howarth 3

Biarritz Olympique: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 Jean-Baptiste Gobelet, 10 Marcelo Bosch, 9 Fabien Cibray, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy (capt), 6 Steve Malonga, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Santiago Dellape, 3 Eduard Coetzee, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Mosese Moala.

Replacements: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Benoit Lecouls, 18 Agustin Creevy, 19 Serge Betsen, 20 Julien Dupuy, 21 Julien Peyrelongue, 22 Ilikena Bolakoro.

Viadana: 15 Hayden Reid, 14 Steven Bortolussi, 13 Matthew Harvey, 12 Garry Law, 11 Samuele Pace, 10 Calvin Howarth, 9 Craig McGrath, 8 Jaco Erasmus, 7 Aldo Birchall, 6 Joshua Sole, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Cristian Bezzi, 3 Ignacio Rouyet, 2 Andrea Moretti, 1 Miguel Alonso.

Replacements: 16 Luigi Ferraro, 17 Luigi Milani, 18 Ockert Booyse, 19 Andrea Benatti, 20 Hayden Pedersen, 21 Corrado Pilat, 22 Claudio Spadaro.

Referee: Andrew Small (England)

Touch judges: Martin Fox (England), Alan Hughes (England)

Television match official: David Matthews (England)

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