Biarritz now targeting a home quarter final

Biarritz Olympique have failed to make the Heineken Cup quarter-finals since going all the way to the 2006 Millennium Stadium showpiece occasion – but they go into Saturday’s home clash with Glasgow Warriors having ended that depressing run with a match to spare and a home quarter-final the major incentive.

A 23-8 defeat at Gloucester Rugby ended the only 100 per cent record of the tournament’s 15th season but Ayoola Erinle is adamant there will be no complacency at Parc des Sports Aguilera as they go in search of that all important home quarter.

“Glasgow are flying high in the Magners League and they’ve got a lot of confidence,” said the former London Wasps wing and 2004 Heineken Cup winner.

“When we played them at their place in Round 1 it was one of the few away games where we actually stuck to our game plan and were well structured.

“We know that they play with good width and they keep the ball well so we’ll have to be on our mettle. Even though we’re at home, we won’t be taking anything for granted.

“Because with so much at stake, hopefully the guys will come out and perform.

“And as long as we knuckle down and do our basics well, hopefully we can get a win and a home tie in the quarters.”

Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh are both out of the quarter-final qualification mix but Alastair Kellock’s team are certain to play with enormous pride in their final outing of the 2009/10 competition.

“Biarritz are a club who want to perform more consistently in the upper echelons,” said Erinle.

“I have experienced that with Leicester Tigers and with London Wasps and it’s something I’d like us to do. What is more, I think that we have the structure in place and it’s now just up to us to execute that.

“So the win on Sunday is paramount and when you start chasing bonus points without securing the win, then you can come unstuck quite easily.

“Our first and over-riding thought will be to win the game. If we can achieve that then we’ll look at the bonus point.

“Because a home quarter-final would be massively important to us. In any competition you want to play at home, in front of your own fan base. I think we can achieve that as long as we keep our heads and train well.

“A home tie would be great and, hopefully, it would then be a launch pad for a successful campaign in Europe and the Heineken Cup.

“From what I’ve seen playing against Biarritz and from being with them so far, they’re an ambitious club. It would be nice to go as far as we can in this competition – and I honestly believe we have got the squad to do that.

“In the past, Biarritz have been renowned for under performing. Our performances in the Top 14 haven’t been up to scratch and that puts a bit more pressure on us performing in Europe.

“However, it is a long season – we’re only just over halfway – and as long as we apply ourselves and get our consistency in place, I think we can go far.”

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