Biarritz break their Racing jinx in Top14

Two-time European Cup finalists Biarritz recorded their first win over Racing-Metro
in their four Top 14 meetings on Saturday with a thrilling 36-32 victory.

Biarritz ran in four tries to Racing’s two to give themselves a huge boost
in their bid to finish in the top six and earn a place in the end-of-season
play-offs.

Second-place Racing had the consolation of taking a defensive bonus point but
with table-topping Toulouse edging Brive 23-22 they fell further behind the
leaders, who now have a six-point lead with five matches remaining.

In Saturday’s late match, Castres beat Clermont 23-19 to go third, with champions
Clermont fourth.

Brive’s defeat, their fourth in five matches, saw them drop to second from
bottom, while Bourgoin’s relegation was confirmed after a 39-17 thrashing by
Toulon.

La Rochelle did their hopes of avoiding the drop no end of good by beating
high-fliers Montpellier 20-16 and now hold a one-point advantage over Brive,
with Agen fourth from bottom, a point ahead of La Rochelle.

Stade Francais eased fears of getting swept up in the relegation battle with
a hard-fought 22-18 win over Agen.

Stade’s Italian star Mauro Bergamasco marked his return to action after several
months out with a shoulder injury by scoring a 71st-minute try.

Racing had stunned Biarritz with an early onslaught that saw them take a 16-3
lead, including a try by wing Julien Saubade, as they outplayed them all over
the pitch.

Biarritz coach Jean-Michel Gonzalez reacted by taking off former All Black
prop Campbell Johnstone in the 20th minute, which immediately stabilised their
scrum, and the balance of the match shifted further when Racing were reduced
to 14 men two minutes later.

Springbok World Cup-winning back Francois Steyn was sin-binned for tackling
Biarritz’s Zimbabwe-born American international Takudzwa Ngwenya without the
ball, which allowed the hosts back into the match.

Julien Peyrelongue converted the resulting penalty and then successfully converted
a well-worked try by Yann Lesgourgues before levelling the match with another
penalty seven minutes from the break.

Biarritz’s momentum was not halted by the half-time pause as they ran in two
tries in quick succession, first through Fijian wing Ilikena Bolakoro, who had
escaped a sin-binning in the first-half for a deliberate block on opposite number
Sireli Bobo.

Argentinian fly-half Marcelo Bosch then crossed over after fine work by in-form
English full-back Iain Balshaw.

Racing, though, regrouped, and Steyn redeemed himself with a penalty from inside
his own-half.

The visitors then grabbed their second try through prop Benjamin Noirot, which
was converted by Jonathan Wisniweski, and a further long-range Steyn penalty
gave them a 32-28 lead.

However, the hosts went back into the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining
as Bolakoro broke though three tackles to touch down in the corner.

Peyrelongue’s conversion attempt drifted wide, but he added a penalty four
minutes from the final whistle to leave Racing requiring a try that they pressed
for but could not find.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close