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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Wasps 25-12 Biarritz
Wasps' Alex King
Wasps (9) 25
Try: Worsley
Con: Van Gisbergen
Pens: Van Gisbergen (4)
DGs: King (2)
Biarritz (12) 12
Pens: Yachvili (3)
DG: Traille
Defending champions Wasps got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a winning start against last year's beaten semi-finalists Biarritz.

The Londoners looked off their game for the duration of the first half but were kept in the hunt by Alex King and Mark van Gisbergen's kicking.

Van Gisbergen missed just one spot kick to end with a tally of 11 points, while King slotted over two drop goals.

And Joe Worsley scored the only try in the 64th minute to end Biarritz's bid.

Wasps were heavily let down by poor discipline in the opening half, continually conceding penalties to the interval.

As a result, Dimitri Yachvili had three relatively straightforward kicks on goal in the first 40 minutes - all of which sailed through the uprights.

For all their indiscretions, though, Wasps never fell more than six points behind and managed to bring the deficit to 12-9 at half-time, as van Gisbergen slotted over two penalties of his own.

The half's other points came courtesy of drop goals from Damien Traille for Biarritz and King for the home side.

We're not looking anywhere near the standard we were last season
Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio

Van Gisbergen sunk a third penalty 10 minutes after the re-start as Wasps came out the far brighter and more inventive.

And the European champions took the lead for the first time in the match with another King drop goal 25 minutes from the finish.

Biarritz were a different side in the second half, struggling with some dire kicking in open play and a complete lack of invention.

Matters were not helped when Serge Betsen was sin-binned on the hour mark, the effect of which culminated in Worsley's try.

After a passage of Wasps pressure deep in the French side's half, the England back-row forward bundled his way under his tacklers to touch down. Van Gisbergen duly converted.

With the pressure off, Wasps produced the sort of running rugby which earned them Cup glory last season in the latter stages.

We just kicked in the second half when we should have tried to play more
Patrice Lagisquet
Biarritz coach
And Biarritz's hopes of getting back in contention were ended when Yachvili was sin-binned for stamping on Phil Greening just after Biarritz had got back their full compliment of players.

Afterwards Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio warned his side would "get better and better" in the tournament.

He said: "We're not looking anywhere near the standard we were last season. But we are gradually coming to the boil."

Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Lewsey, Richards, Erinle, Voyce: King, Dawson; Payne, Greening, Green; Hart, Birkett; Worsley. O'Connor, Dallaglio. Replacements: Barrett, McKenzie (or Dowd), Lock, Haskell, Biljon, Brookes, Waters.

Biarritz: Brusque; Bidade, Aramburu, Traille, Marlu; Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Balan, August, Avril; Thion, Booyse; Betsen, Harinordoquy, Malonga.
Replacements: Gonzalez, Lecouls, Pueloto, Milhères, Dupuy, Lacroix, Dambielle.

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