Bath Rugby v Biarritz Olympique preview

Bath and Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque go head-to-head in a Pool 4 tie at the Rec on Sunday looking for a early lead in the Pool which also contains Aironi and Ulster.

Bath went all the way to lift the trophy in 1998 and 10 years later went on to win the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Biarritz Olympique are perhaps one of the most unlucky teams in the competition’s history. Despite making two finals and another two semi-finals, they are yet to win the biggest prize in European club rugby.

The last of those finals was of course last year’s heartbreaking 21-19 loss to Toulouse at the Stade de France.

The two sides have met on three occasions in previous competitions, Bath currently leading with two wins. Those two victories came in the pool stages in 2002 but Biarritz avenged that with an 18-9 win in a 2006 semi-final.

Both sides have enjoyed mixed starts in their domestic competitions and lie in mid-table positions. They also both enter the competition with out some key players; Butch James and Lewis Moody the most noticeable absentees from Bath and Fabien Barcella from Biarritz.


Bath Rugby Head Coach, Steve Meehan, knows that last year’s finalists will offer a stern test for the West Country side, but believes they can take the chances on offer.


“Biarritz are a lot more unstructured in their style of play than we are used to, so it will be very important for us to be strong defensively. We know that they will kick their penalties and drop-goals from quite deep, so our game coming out of our bottom third is going to be very important.


“They will try to spend a lot of time and energy in the opposition half, kicking long out of their 22 and chasing hard to force you into making mistakes.


“We know we had to improve our organisation and effectiveness when chasing kicks, so we have done a lot of work on that, and now we just need the players to remain calm and to remember the systems that they have gone through in training.


“It is a question of the whole team being absolutely on the ball to hurt them, and we need to play in an aggressive and committed fashion. If we can get the simple things right, then our chances will come.”

Current form

BATH RUGBY currently 4th in the Aviva Premiership
AP ROUND 1 W Leeds 16-32 Bath
AP ROUND 2 W Bath 20-13 London Irish
AP ROUND 3 L Northampton 31-10 Bath
AP ROUND 4 W Bath 31-16 Sale
AP ROUND 5 L Bath 3-18 Gloucester

BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE currently 9th in the Top 14
TOP 14 ROUND 1 W Biarritz 30-22 Montpellier
TOP 14 ROUND 2 L Biarritz 3-13 Toulon
TOP 14 ROUND 3 L Agen 28-23 Biarritz
TOP 14 ROUND 4 L Perpignan 17-12 Biarritz
TOP 14 ROUND 5 W Biarritz 19-11 Paris
TOP 14 ROUND 6 W Biarritz 25-20 Toulouse
TOP 14 ROUND 7 W La Rochelle 23-29 Biarritz
TOP 14 ROUND 8 L Racing 17-12 Biarritz
TOP 14 ROUND 9 W Bayonne 19-22 Biarritz

Heineken Cup Pool 4
Match : Bath Rugby v Biarritz Olympique
Date : Sunday 10th October 2010
Kick Off : 13:00
Venue : The Recreation Ground
Referee: James Jones (Wales)


Bath Rugby: N Abendanon, M Carraro, S Hape, O Barkley, M Banahan, S Vesty, M Claassens, N Catt, P Dixon, D Wilson, S Hooper, D Grewcock, A Beattie, S Taylor, L Watson [capt].

Replacements: R Batty, D Flatman, D Bell, I Fernadez Lobbe, B Skirving, M McMillan, T Biggs, J Cuthbert

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque: D Haylett-Petty, T Ngwenya, C Gimenez, M Bond, I Balshaw, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili, E Coetzee, R Terrain, C Johnstone, M Carizza, E Lund, M Lund, I Harinordoquy [capt], R Lakafia.

Replacements: B August, S Marconnet

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