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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 11:49 GMT
Ulster upset French champions
Ulster full-back Bryn Cunningham in action against Biarritz in the Heineken Cup
Man-of-the-match Bryn Cunningham on the attack
Ulster 13-9 Biarritz



Ulster kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive with a nail-biting four-point win over Pool Six leaders Biarritz at Ravenhill on Friday night.

It may not have been a great spectacle, but Ulster produced a gritty display with James Topping's interception try in the 34th minute proving the pivotal moment.

Things had started badly for the home side when centre Ryan Constable had to go off after just two minutes with concussion.

If we had not made so many unforced errors then the victory would have come more easily

Ulster coach
Alan Solomons

Then the French champions ominously opened up a 6-0 lead.

Their first points came from a 17th minute penalty by scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili.

That was quickly followed by a drop-goal by Julien Peyrelonue, one of the French side's try scorers in the win over Northampton earlier in the competition.

David Humphreys missed a couple of penalties for Ulster.

Ulster's Ryan Constable had to be taken to hospital suffering from concussion
Ryan Constable was an early casualty
But then came Topping's breakaway touchdown, just as Biarritz had looked like scoring a try of their own.

Yachvili landed his second penalty just before the break to leave it at 9-7 to the French club.

Humphreys edged Ulster ahead with a penalty on 61 minutes and then added another just before stoppage time.

The Irish province are now on four points from three games - the same as Biarritz - and the sides meet again in the return game in France on 14 December.


Ulster: B Cunningham; J Topping; R Constable, J Bell, S Young; D Humphreys, N Doak; J Fitzpatrick, M Sexton, R Kempson, G Longwell, J Davidson, W Brosnihan, N McMillan, A Ward, capt.
Replacements: S Best, P Shields, M Blair, T McWhirter, K Campbell, A Larkin, S Coulter.

Biarritz Olympique: N Brusque; P Bernat-Salles; J Isaac, M Stcherbina, P Bidabe; J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili; E Menieu; J-M Gonzalez, D Avril, J-P Versailles, D Couzinet, S Betsen, C Milheres, T Lievremont.
Replacements: J Campo, D Minassian, O Roumat, T Soucaze, L Mazas, B Bousses, M Etcheverria.

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 ON THIS STORY
Bryn Cunningham
"I am so thankful just to have come through"

Heineken Cup

Parker Pen Cup

EUROPEAN STATISTICS
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