Amlin Challenge Cup: Five-try Biarritz dump out Gloucester
Biarritz advanced to the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals with a 41-31 victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Last Updated: 04/04/13 11:12pm
Gloucester made a strong start and got the opening try of the game through former England skipper Mike Tindall in the 14th minute.
But the illdiscipline of the English side's forwards soon proved costly as Biarritz responded with three tries while playing against 14 men for almost all of the remainder of the first half.
Lock Dario Chistolini and hooker Koree Britton were shown yellow cards in the 17th and 29th minute respectively; in the meantime scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili pulled the strings as wing Teddy Thomas touched down twice and hooker Arnaud Heguy added a third to power the French team into a 27-14 lead at the break.
Chistolini's punishment was for tackling without the ball before a poor kick by Gloucester stand-off Freddie Burns was gathered by wing Takudzwa Ngwenya, who powered through two tackles and sent Thomas sprinting across.
Gloucester again pressed the self-destruct button when Britton took out Yachvili in mid-air and were again punished, this time through a dinked kick from Yachvili that Thomas caught to claim his second touchdown.
Referee John Lacey departed through injury, accompanied by ironic cheers from the crowd, and Burns completed a hat-trick of first-half penalties after assistant Dudley Phillips took over the senior officiating role.
Biarritz continued to press, however, and some solid work by their forwards resulted in a try for Heguy from a driven lineout.
Burns' fourth penalty in the 47th minute raised hopes of a Gloucester comeback but they were soon ended by Biarritz's fourth try, finished off by Benoit Baby after another searing run by Ngwenya, this time from inside his own 22.
With five minutes remaining, Seremaia Burotu crashed over for the visitors' fifth try, all of which were converted by Yachvili, who also kicked a penalty in his 13-point haul.
Biarritz lost skipper Imanol Harinordoquy to the sin-bin in the 77th minute and Gloucester added a pair of late tries through replacements Shane Monahan and Huia Edmonds to reduce their final margin of defeat to 10 points.