Planet Rugby

Biarritz get in the mood

17th October 2009 15:16

Share:

Yachvili v Gloucester

Dimitri Yachvili: Excellent display

Biarritz are in command of their Heineken Cup pool after a magnificent 42-15 win over Gloucester, featuring a Takudzwa Ngwenya hat-trick.

It was a similar arm-wrestle to Biarritz's win over Glasgow last week initially, but with Biarritz at home, there was always going to be an extra dimension. In this match, it came in the form of numerous offloads which Gloucester found it harder and harder to cope with as time ticked on.

Imanol Harinordoquy and Fabien Barcella were chief targets for the short passes, while Dimitri Yachvili's expertly-varied distribution kept Gloucester's defence guessing. The gain-line was rarely left intact by Biarritz's runners and once Andy Hazell had gone to the bin for a blatant kill of the ball, it was pure one-way traffic.

There was also an extra dimension in Ngwenya. They like their superstar wingers here in France and Ngwenya is fast achieving that status in Basque country after a season of bedding in. He rounded off the first half with two fabulous tries, the first a burst of searing pace which nobody in Gloucester's drift could cope with, the second a sumptuous chip and gather. It was little more than Biarritz's superiority deserved. Early in the second half, he rushed up in defence to force a turnover, then raced up in support of Damien Traille's counter-attack to round off both the attack and his hat-trick.

It was not just he though: Biarritz's backs looked dangerous every time they got the ball. Marcelo Bosch seems to have found a home for his talents at full-back and made three telling breaks of over 20 yards. Arnaud Mignardi at outside centre was also a permanent threat. With Yachvili calling on all his years of experience to set them going, Biarritz were formidable.

Gloucester were also their own worst enemies. Too many clearance kicks did not find touch and far too many running channels were left uncovered. Too many tackles were missed. In finest French fashion, the away team simply didn't turn up.

The French have not developed a reputation for ramming advantages home in this competition, but Biarritz broke the mould in the second half, not relenting until Ayoola Erinle had sealed the bonus point try to make it 35-8. Anything Gloucester had to add after that was purely cosmetic.

Tom Voyce and Jake Boer both went over in the second half to save Gloucester from a humiliating scoreline, but further tries by Ayoola Erinle and Valentin Courrent ensured Biarritz were rarely troubled.

France international Dimitri Yachvili opened the scoring after just two minutes with an early penalty that was cancelled out by Nick Robinson's effort.

A tightly contested forward effort saw Yachvili land two more penalties after 13 and then 26 minutes, the latter when Andy Hazell was shown the yellow card for illegally preventing Biarritz playing the ball after his tackle on Nicolas Brusque.

With Gloucester reduced in numbers, Biarritz looked to break clear on the scoreboard but they only managed to add five points with the first of Ngwenya's three tries.

The United States international sped past Tom Voyce to score on 33 minutes, however Yachvili failed with the conversion.

Hazell returned but Biarritz still added a second try just before half-time when Ngwenya kicked over the head of Lesley Vainikolo and gathered the ball to touch down, converted by Yachvili to open a 21-3 lead at the break.

Yachvili missed a snap drop-goal attempt in the opening minute of the second half but when Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples lost the ball, that handed play to Biarritz.

Full-back Marcelo Bosch reacted quickly, picking up possession before passing to Ngwenya who raced clear to complete his hat-trick after 49 minutes. Yachvili added the conversion to stretch the lead to 28-3.

Gloucester rang the changes by introducing Freddie Burns and Boer and it was not long before outside-half Burns was taking a shot at goal after Voyce scored his team's first try.

Gloucester retained possession, moved the ball through the phases and took minimal risks before Voyce broke through from close range. Burns missed the conversion but Gloucester had reduced the deficit to 28-8.

However no sooner had Gloucester given themselves some hope than Biarritz scored a fourth try to claim the bonus point just four minutes later.

Replacement outside-half Courrent slipped through before offloading to Erinle, who finished well. Yachvili converted to establish a 35-8 lead.

Again Gloucester found a way to score, the forwards driving on before replacement flanker Boer picked up and dived over. This time Burns added the conversion.

Ngwenya thought he had scored a fourth try but had the score ruled out for an earlier infringement, however Courrent went over two minutes from time to complete a comfortable win for the French.

The scorers:

For Biarritz:
Tries: Ngwenya 3, Erinle, Courrent
Cons: Yachvili 4
Pens: Yachvili 3

For Gloucester:Tries:Voyce, Boer
Con: Robinson
Pen: Robinson

Yellow card: Hazell (Gloucester, 25)

Biarritz Olympique: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Nicolas Brusque, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Samiu Vahafolau, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Jérôme Thion, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Benoit August, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Eduard Coetzee, 18 Mosese Moala, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Wenceslas Lauret, 21 Valentin Courrent, 22 Ayoola Erinle, 23 Laurent Tranier.

Gloucester: 15 Tom Voyce, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Akapusi Qera, 5 Will James, 4 David Attwood, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawiduik, 17 Paul Doran-Jones, 18 Pierre Capdevielle, 19 Jake Boer, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Tim Molenaar, 22 Carlos Spencer, 23 Freddie Burns.

Date: Saturday, October 17
Venue: Parc des Sports Augilera
Kick-off: 14.35 (13.35 GMT)
Referee: Alan Lewis
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Peter Roche (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26