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Biarritz 24-10 Gloucester

Biarritz (17) 24
Tries: Harinordoquy, Yachvili, Peyrelongue Pens: Yachvili Cons: Yachvili (3)

Gloucester (10) 10
Try: Simpson-Daniel Cons: Barkley Pens: Barkley

Gloucester centre Olly Barkley
Gloucester trailed 17-10 at the break and were unable to fight back

Gloucester crashed out of the Heineken Cup after losing to Biarritz in the final pool game in France.

The West country side needed a bonus-point win to have a chance of claiming one of the two best runners-up places.

Biarritz romped into a 17-point lead through tries from Imanol Harinordoquy and Dimitri Yachvili before James Simpson-Daniel hit back for Gloucester.

Olly Barkley's penalty narrowed the gap to 17-10 at the break but Julien Peyrelongue's try sealed the win.

Biarritz also needed maximum points and other results to go their way to claim a best runners-up spot, and they ended out of the running and tied with Gloucester on 15 points.

The unbeaten Cardiff Blues wrapped up the group with a 62-20 demolition of Calvisano to enter the knockout stages as top seeds.

Gloucester were up against a Biarritz side who had lost just three home games in their previous 29 in the Heineken Cup and the visitors suffered a major blow before kick-off when England centre Mike Tindall pulled out with a dead leg.

In heavy rain and strong winds, the Cherry and Whites were quickly chasing the game when Yachvili slotted a close-range penalty and converted Harinordoquy's try, after the France number eight cut through Gareth Cooper's tackle from a line-out.


Biarritz nearly doubled their tally soon after, only for Iain Balshaw to make a superb last-ditch tackle on American wing Takudzwa Ngwenya.

But Yachvili did add a second when he gathered his own chip through to slide home.

The scrum-half added the conversion for a 17-0 lead but Gloucester sensed an opening when left wing Simpson-Daniel danced over in the 17th minute, converted by Barkley.

Gloucester, though, were dealt an instant blow when Fijian flanker Apo Satala was yellow-carded for deliberately killing the ball.

Barkley added a penalty in the 25th minute and Gloucester's spirits were further revived when Biarritz's Damien Traille was sin-binned for a deliberate trip on Balshaw.

The visitors turned around 17-10 down but hopes began to drift away in the 47th minute when fly-half Willie Walker had his kick charged down by opposite number Peyrelongue, who pounced for the third.

Despite a late yellow card for Biarritz lock Jerome Thion, Gloucester were unable to add to their tally and saw their European aspirations disappear.

Gloucester coach Dean Ryan on Traille's trip on Balshaw:

"I don't want it to be the headline but when you are playing in a game like this with small margins, a deliberate trip is a red card. I didn't see it as anything else.

"But we have to accept we're out of Europe. The last three weeks we have played in horrendous weather conditions and we ran the ball more than we should have.

"We have to play better than that in those conditions. We've got to work on our kicking game and we always pride ourselves on moving the ball around.

"But that has come crashing down around us in the last few weeks."

Biarritz scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili:

"We're really happy to win this game but tonight makes you think what might have been.

"We weren't disciplined enough in the first leg against Gloucester and tonight wasn't enough to save our European campaign.

"But we've got good solidity and the win gives us great confidence."

Biarritz: Brusque, Bidabe, Cabannes, Traille, Ngwenya, Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Barcella, August, Johnstone, Damiani, Carizza, Vahafolau, Hall, Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Coetzee, Bourrust, Thion, Som, Masi, Tranier, Bolakoro.

Gloucester: Morgan, Balshaw, Tindall (capt), Barkley, Simpson-Daniel, Walker, Cooper; Dickinson, Azam, Nieto, James, Brown, Strokosch, Satala, Narraway.
Replacements: Titterrell, Wood, Bortolami, Eustace, Lawson, Allen, Watkins.

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see also
Heineken Cup photos
23 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 12-16 Blues
18 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup 2008/9
17 Jul 08 |  Rugby Union

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