Biarritz scored four tries to clinch a bonus point in their 33-19 home win over battling Ulster in Pool Four of the Heineken Cup.
HEINEKEN CUP, Pool 4
Biarritz (20) 33
Tries: Bidabe 2, Balan, Gobelet
Cons: Yachvili 2
Drop goal: Peyrelongue
Ulster (11) 19
Tries: S Best, N Best
Pens: Humphreys 3
Ulster, the only Irish side to win in the opening week, were crushed in the early stages as the French club ran in three tries in 14 minutes.
The Irish province fought back with Neil Best squeezing over for a try.
A second try, through Simon Best, gave Ulster hope but Jean-Baptiste Gobelet's late try was a killer blow.
The French champions looked to have the game in the bag with those early tries, two by Philippe Bidabe and one from Romanian prop Petru Balan.
But tries either side of half-time by Neil and Simon Best set up a thrilling climax as Ulster threatened to pull off a major surprise.
However Biarritz, one of the favourites for the Heineken Cup this season having lost in the semi-finals for the last two years, secured the victory when wing Gobolet charged over seven minutes from time.
Ulster had lost their last six games away from home in Europe while Biarritz had only lost once on home soil in five years of Heineken Cup action.
Biarritz coach Patrice Lagisquet:
"The difference today (after defeat to Saracens last week) was we played great rugby in the first 20 minutes.
"We put in such an effort then that there was a lot of indiscipline on our part. But we came back to take the initiative."
Ulster coach Mark McCall:
"To come to one of the best teams in Europe and give away a 17-3 lead from the start certainly wasn't the plan.
"We dug ourselves into a big hole but we're very proud that we got ourselves out and of the rugby we played.
To get ourselves back to 23-19 with 10 minutes to go was a good achievement by the players.
"This group is wide open. We play Saracens back to back in December, and we must win those games to qualify."
Biarritz: Brusque, Bidabe, Martin Arramburu, Lison, Gobelet, Peyrelongue, Yachvili, Lealamanua, August, Avril, Thion, Couzinet, Malonga, Harinordoquy, Lievremont.
Replacements: Noirot, Ormaechea, Booyse, Carizza, Dupuy, Dambielle, Bobo.
Ulster: Cunningham, Bowe, Maggs, Trimble, Topping, Humphreys, Campbell, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Best, S. Best, Harrison, McCullough, N. Best, McMillan, Wilson.
Replacements: Brady, B. Young, Caldwell, Feather, Spee, Wallace, Steinmetz.
Referee: N Whitehouse (WRFU).