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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Saracens 22-10 Biarritz
Ben Johnston
Saracens (10) 22
Try: Johnston
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson (3)
DGs: Vyvyan, Jackson
Biarritz (0) 10
Try: Peyrelongue
Con: Yachvili
Pen: Yachvili
Saracens pulled off a surprise win over last year's Heineken Cup semi-finalists with a solid defensive display in their opening pool game on Sunday.

The English Premiership side conceded a solitary try and a penalty against a team full of big-name internationals.

Glen Jackson starred for the home side, continually edging his team in front with 14 points.

Ben Johnston scored his side's only try in the first half, while back-row forward Hugh Vyvyan kicked a drop goal.

Receiving the ball 40 metres from the line, the 6ft 6in flanker looked up and struck a sweet left-foot shot straight between the posts.

Jackson's kicking game kept Biarritz pegged back and another penalty five minutes from time, when Denis Avril was caught off-side and sent to the sin-bin, put Saracens 19-3 up. Biarritz eventually worked a breakthrough with fly-half Julien Peyrelongue scoring in the last minute of injury time, but Jackson had the last word with another giant drop-goal.

The match was Saracens' first in the Heineken Cup for five years and their performance was on a par with their home-and-away wins against Toulouse in the competition in 2000.

  • Saracens boss Steve Diamond on Kyran Bracken:
    "I described him last year as a tube of toothpaste we keep squeezing. I think we have opened up a Stanley knife and scraped out the last dregs.

    "And that is a compliment. He controls the pack, has massive experience and takes all we coach onto the field.

    "That is his role, as our conduit from the touchline to the pitch."

    Saracens: Castaignede; Haughton, Sorrell, Johnston, Bailey; Jackson, Bracken; Yates, Cairns, Visagie; Raiwalui, Fullarton; Vyvyan, Randell, Skirving.
    Replacements: Seymour for Haughton (75), B. Russell for Johnston (47), Dickens for Bracken (68), Lloyd for Yates (52), Byrne for Cairns (52), Broster for Visagie (65), Chesney for Raiwalui (59).

    Biarritz: Brusque; Gobelet, Martin Arramburu, Traille, Bobo; Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Lealamanua, August, Avril; Thion, Couzinet; Dusautoir, Harinordoquy, Lievremont.
    Replacements: Ormaechea for Gobelet (76), Bidabe for Traille (40), Olibeau for Couzinet (49), Dambielle for Dusautoir (56), Chouchan for Harinordoquy (40), Noirot for Olibeau (57).
    Not Used: Dupuy.

    Att: 11,167

    Ref: Nigel Owen (WRFU).

    Bristol 11-23 Saracens
    16 Oct 05 |  English


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