Bath not hot enough for Biarritz

France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili kicked four second-half penalties to give last season’s beaten European Cup finalists Biarritz a 12-11 victory over English outfit Bath.

Yachvili – who landed five penalties in their semi-final meeting five years ago which also ended in victory for Biarritz – turned the match around after hosts Bath had gone 8-0 up through a try and a penalty by Michael Claassens and Olly Barkley.

Bath – without injured England captain Lewis Moody – took their eight point advantage into the break after a try by South African scrum-half Claassens and a penalty by former England fly-half Barkley.

The French side would have been much closer after 40 minutes but for a superb try-saving tackle by Bath fullback Nick Abendanon on Zimbabwean-born American international winger Takudza Ngwenya.

However, Yachvili converted two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the second-half to make it 8-6 as the two-time European Cup finalists turned on the pressure.

The visitors thought they had scored a try in the 53rd minute when No8 Raphael Lakafia touched down but he was judged by the video referee to have already been tackled and a penalty was awarded against him.

Yachvili, though, put Biarritz into the lead in the 55th minute with his third successful kick from three attempts.

Barkley restored Bath’s lead but the French side got a huge boost in the 70th minute when not only was Bath prop Davie Wilson sin-binned but Yachvili landed a penalty to give them a 12-11 lead.

Final Score Bath (8) 11 Biarritz (0) 12


Try: Claasens
Pens: Barkley 2
Sin Bin: Wilson (71).

Pens: Yachvili 4

Attendance: 11,631

Referee: James Jones (WRFU).


Bath: Abendanon, Carraro, Hape, Barkley, Banahan, Vesty, Claassens, Catt, Dixon, Wilson, Hooper, Grewcock, Beattie, Watson, Taylor.

Replacements: Flatman, Batty, C. Fernandez Lobbe,Bell, Skirving, McMillan, Biggs, Cuthbert.

Biarritz: Haylett-Petty, Ngwenya, Gimenez, Bond, Balshaw, Peyrelongue, Yachvili, Coetzee, Terrain, Johnstone, Carizza, E. Lund, M. Lund, Harinordoquy, Lakafia.

Replacements: Mignardi , Traille , August, Marconnet , Taele-Pvihi, Guyot ,Barozzi, Bolakoro.

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