Biarritz get back to winning ways in Top14

Biarritz bounced back from consecutive Top 14 defeats to record a 12-6 victory over Brive in a drab match on Friday evening.

The Biarritz pack tipped the balance in the home side’s favour in the second half, with Valentin Courrent scoring three penalties and Julien Peyrelongue confirming the win with a 62nd-minute drop-goal.

Brive’s points came via two penalties from the boot of centre Fabrice Estebanez.

Biarritz, who lost to Bayonne and Stade Francais in their last two outings, move to within one point of Brive in the Top 14 standings, five points shy of the top-six berth required to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

“There’s still a long way to go,” Biarritz captain Jerome Thion told Canal+ television channel after the match.

“We’ve realised that we have to keep working incredibly hard and improving our game. There are exciting weeks ahead.”

Fourth-placed Toulouse host sixth-placed Toulon in the showpiece match of the round on Saturday, but the home side will have to do without seven players currently on international duty, including experienced prop Jean-Baptiste Poux, centre Yannick Jauzion and France captain Thierry Dusautoir.

Toulon, meanwhile, have lost just one first-team regular to the Six Nations but that player is top-scoring England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

Stade Francais, meanwhile, are facing a battle to finish in the top six and currently lie six points adrift of Toulon prior to their trip to Bourgoin.

Elsewhere, leaders Perpignan are away at Montauban while iconic France back-row forward Sebastien Chabal may return for fifth-placed Racing-Metro’s home clash with second-placed Castres.

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