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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 April 2005, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Biarritz 19-10 Munster
Argentine centre Martin Gaitan touches down for Biarritz
Biarritz (16) 19
Try: Gaitan
Con: Yachvili
Pens: Yachvili 4
Munster (0) 10
Try: Wallace
Con: Burke
Pen: Burke
Attendance: 32,500
Biarritz booked a Heineken Cup semi-final date with Stade Francais after a hard-earned victory over Munster in San Sebastian on Sunday.

It was the boot of French international scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili that did the damage with 14 points.

Biarritz scored a first-half try through centre Martin Gaitan to give them a deserved 16-0 interval lead.

But Munster stormed back in the second half with David Wallace scoring and a conversion and penalty by Paul Burke.

It was the first time since 1999, when Ulster won the European Cup, that Ireland will be not be represented in the semi-finals.

Munster allowed Biarritz to get the big start they wanted in front of their passionate fans when they leaked 10 points in the first quarter.

Yachvili floated over a 12th minute penalty when Donnacha O' Callaghan strayed offside in front of his posts.

We just coughed up too much ball in the first half, but I felt we played a lot of the rugby in the second
Alan Gaffney

Two minutes later, poor handling and a turnover allowed little Argentine centre Gaitan to sprint clear to the line with Yachvili again on target.

The only surprise was that it took Biarritz until the 28th minute to stretch their lead when Yachvili landed his second penalty after Alan Quinlan had transgressed.

Munster finally began to string together some continuity with Wallace, Paul O'Connell and, in particular, O'Callaghan to the fore.

However, they were still unable to breach a very tight rearguard and the half finished with Yachvili rifling over a long-range penalty.

But it was Munster who came out of the traps with venom in the second half and full-back Shaun Payne was hand-tripped by Thomas Lievremont just short of the line as he was skating over at the posts.

From the resulting scrum, Wallace broke clear off the tail to evade the defence to crash over with Burke converting.

However, it was Biarritz who struck next against the run of play in the 59th minute of play when Payne was penalised for not releasing and Yachvili stroked over the kick.

We lost to Toulouse in the semi-finals last year so we will be determined to make up for that
Dimitri Yachvili

Despite relentless Munster pressure they could not add to their total as Biarritz become the third French side into the last four.

Munster's departing coach Alan Gaffney blamed the lacklustre first half for his side's downfall.

"We just coughed up too much ball. I felt we played a lot of the rugby in the second half and just conceded too many penalties,'' he said.

"If we had got within a score, who knows what might have happened, but we just didn't quite seem to have the pace to go on and win it.''

Biarritz hero Yachvili said: "This win means a lot to us - especially at a stadium like Estadio Anoeta,'' he said.

''We lost to Toulouse in the semi-finals last year so we will be determined to make up for that now against Stade."


Biarritz: Brusque; Marlu, Traille, Gaitan, Bidabe; Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Balan, August, Avril; Thion, Olibeau; Betsen, Lievremont (capt), Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Gonzalez, Lecouls, Couzinet, Dusautoir, Dupuy, Bousses, Gobelet.

Munster: Payne; Kelly, Mullins, Henderson, Horgan; Burke, Stringer; Horan, Sheahan, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Quinlan, Wallace, Foley (capt).
Replacements: McIlwham, Flannery, Hogan, Williams, Murphy, Holland, Devlin.

Referee: Chris White (RFU).




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