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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Beziers boot Neath into submission
Shaun Connor
Shaun Connor started in place of Lee Jarvis
Beziers 21-16 Neath

The lethal boot of Argentine fly-half Gonzalo Quesada condemned Neath to defeat in France.

Beziers stand clear in Pool One after winning both their opening games, continuing the outstanding form of the French sides in the competition.

The visitors scored the only try of the match, a muscular forward effort finished by Fijian flanker Alfie Mocelutu.

But Quesada's match-winning abilities proved decisive in a tight, restricted game.

  Match details:
Beziers
Pens: G Quesada (6)
DG: Quesada
Neath
Try: A Mocelutu
Con: S Connor
Pens: Connor (3)
Neath did well to subdue the passion of the volatile home crowd in the opening half.

Quesada was as accurate as ever, converting all four of his first-half shots at goal.

Shaun Connor, a surprise selection for Neath ahead of Lee Jarvis, was matching him, though, and his three first-half penalties saw the visitors go to the break just three points down.

The All Blacks had seen little to worry them and hopes were high for the second half.

Forward power

The French had been fired up at the break, though, and tore into the visitors. Quesada quickly added to his points haul with two more penalties and a drop goal.

Neath coach Lyn Jones had promised an expansive approach to the game, but their only attacking threat was coming through their powerful forwards.
Andrew Millward
Andrew Millward had a strong game in the front row

The front row was particularly impressive, and from an attacking line out in the 61st minute Duncan Jones was driven over - only for the score to be disallowed for a double movement.

Five minutes later another forward rumble breached the Beziers defence, and this time Mocelutu was not to be denied the converted try, bringing the score to 21-16.

The All Blacks were the stronger team at the end and they launched a series of desperate assaults at the home side's line.

Neath lacked that extra spark of invention, though, and the French were able to hang on for the crucial win.


Beziers: J Laharrague, P Escalle, S Bonetti, J-M Aue, T Dejardin, G Quesada, P Mignoni, G Shvelidze, J Selva, T Ratianidze, V Nadiradze, T Privat, F Martinez, F Mounier, K Ghezal
Reps: D Swarzewski, S Chobet, S Bonorino, Y Nyanga, N Durand, J-F Dubois, J-P Grande-Claude

Neath: G Morris, K James, A Bateman, D Tiueti, S Williams, S Connor, P Horgan, D Jones, B Williams, A Millward, A Newman, G Llewellyn, H Jenkins, A Mocelutu, N Bonner-Evans
Reps: S Marsden, J Storey, L Jarvis, G Jones, S Tandy, S Martin, A Jones

Ref: Marco Salera (Italy)

Att: 5,000


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