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banner Saturday, 13 January, 2001, 18:23 GMT
Cohen treble dents Biarritz's hopes
Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen produced a superb 18 minute burst
Northampton 32-24 Biarritz

Northampton winger Ben Cohen scored a second-half hat-trick put the pressure on Biarritz's Heineken Cup qualification bid.

The Saints are already out of contention, but the visitors now need to beat Edinburgh Reivers next week to make sure oif their qualification.

Cohen struck in a devastating 18-minute spell to bring back the Midlanders from 15-24 down.

  Scoreboard
Northampton 32 Tries: Beal, Thompson, Cohen 3. Cons: Hepher 2. Pen: Hepher.
Biarritz 24 Tries: Couttet, Bernat-Salles, S. Bonnet. Cons: Botica 3.
The Saints began strongly by shocking the French side in the fourth minute with a try from fullback Nick Beal returning from a double fracture of the leg suffered last spring.

A second try just before the interval from hooker Steve Thompson, playing out of position in the back row, kept Saints in touch at 15-17 after French international wing Philippe Bernat-Salles had sprinted 40 metres for a try.

Northampton, without the likes of Pat Lam, Matt Dawson, Budge Pountney, Paul Grayson and Andrew Blowers picked up the pace in the second half.

And it was Cohen who emphasised the point with his second try in the 64th minute, going inside centre Philippe Bidabe and around fullback Bonetti to tip the balance Northampton's way.

The French side had international number eight Thomas Lievremont sin-binned in the 70th minute and Cohen's final try ended any hopes Biarritz might have had of dragging this game out of the fire.


Northampton: Beal, Martin, Bateman, Allen, Cohen, Hepher, Malone, Pagel, Brotherstone, Stewart, Newman, Rodber, Thompson, Rennick, Seely. Replacements: Richmond, Todd, Bramhall, Tucker, Webster.

Biarritz: S. Bonnet, Bernat-Salles, Bidabe, Couttet, Legg, Botica, S. Bonnet, Menieu, Gonzalez, Avril, Nauroy, Versailles, Betsen, M. Lievremont, T. Lievremont. Replacements: Chamboulive, Fitzgerald, Roumat, Milheres, Morlaes, Mazas, Daguerre.

Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (RFU)

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See also:

10 Jan 01 |  Rugby Union
Saints launch cup complaint
11 Jan 01 |  Heineken Cup
Heineken restructure for 2001/2
13 Jan 01 |  Photo Galleries
Heineken Cup fifth round - in pictures
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