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Saturday, 12 October, 2002, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Biarritz secure historic victory
Rhys Williams struggles to find a gap in the Biarritz defence
Cardiff struggled to find any gaps in the Biarritz defence
Cardiff 15-26 Biarritz

Cardiff lost their proud unbeaten European home record against French opposition as Biarritz proved themselves a class above.

Tries from flanker Christophe Milheres and winger Philippe Bernat-Salles, and a masterly kicking display by Dimitri Yachvili, guaranteed the French club the win.

Cardiff's points came courtesy of five Iestyn Harris penalties as the Blue and Blacks rarely threatened their opponents' tryline.

Despite dominating possession and territory in the opening exchanges, Biarritz found themselves six points down as Harris landed two early penalties.

  Match facts
Cardiff 15
Pens: Harris (5)
Biarritz 26
Tries: Milheres, Bernat-Salles
Cons: Yachvili (2)
Pens: Yachvili (4)
The French side should have opened their account with a try on the ten-minute mark when centre Guillaume Bousses pierced the Cardiff defence and headed straight for the posts.

But flanker Martyn Williams somehow managed to clip his ankle, forcing the Frenchman to stumble to the ground yards from the tryline.

The visitors deservedly drew level soon afterwards as Yachvili kicked two penalties in quick succession.

But Cardiff went into the interval with their noses in front as Harris added his third penalty with a superbly-struck 50-yard effort.

In fact, their advantage could have been even greater had winger Craig Morgan not been stopped in his tracks just two yards from the tryline.

The kicking duel continued straight after the interval as further penalties brought the scores to 12-12 with half an hour to play.

Cardiff were a man down soon afterwards as Peter Rogers was sent to the sin-bin for a needless infringement, and Biarritz immediately made the advantage count.

Iestyn Harris kicked five penalties for Cardiff
Iestyn Harris was Cardiff's lone scorer
Flanker Milheres, the French club's leading try scorer in Europe, squeezed over in the right corner for the opening try.

Yachvili superbly added the conversion from the touchline to give his side a seven-point lead.

Coach Dai Young made a brief appearance after coming off the replacements bench, but he could do nothing to inspire his troops.

Centre Matt Allen was stretchered off the pitch with five minutes to go after he was knocked unconscious while tackling his opposite number.

Harris had earlier added a fifth penalty, but Biarritz wrapped up the victory two minutes from time when Bernat-Salles reached a chip-kick before the Cardiff defenders.


Cardiff: R Williams; Walne, J Robinson, Allen, C Morgan; Harris, Powell; Rogers, Lewis, Fourie, Senekal, Tait, Appleyard, M Williams (capt), Baugh.
Replacements: Young, Woods, A Jones, McShane, Smith, N Robinson, Sullivan.

Biarritz: Brusque; Bernat-Salles, Bousses, Isaac, Bidabe; Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Menieu, Gonzalez (capt), Avril, Nauroy, Roumat, Betsen, Milheres, T Lievremont.
Replacements: Fitzgerald, Campo, Tonita, Chouchan, Mazas, Stcherbina, Legg.

Referee: Chris White (England).

Att: 6,500


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