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Connacht

  • Vainikolo,
    Penalty goals: Parks (3),
    Drop goals: Parks (2),
    Conversions: Parks,
22 - 14

Biarritz

  • Harinordoquy,
    Penalty goals: Yachvili (3),

Heineken Cup: Dan Parks powers Connacht to win over Biarritz in Pool 3

Last updated: 8th December 2012  

Charles Gimenez Biarritz v Connacht Heineken Cup Pool Three Galway Sportsground

Charles Gimenez: Biarritz centre is stopped in his tracks

Marcelo Bosch with ball is tackled by Dave McSharry far left Biarritz v Connacht Heineken Cup Pool Three Galway Sportsground

Marcelo Bosch: Biarritz centre's error led to Connacht try

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Fetu'u Vainikolo's try helped Connacht to a 22-14 victory over Biarritz at the Galway Sportsground in Pool 3 of the Heineken Cup.

The Tongan winger's first-half try was supplemented by 17 points from Dan Parks' boot to keep the Irish province in contention for a maiden appearance in the last eight of Europe's premier club competition.

Connacht have eight points from their three matches, one behind pool leaders Harlequins who have the chance to pull clear when they visit Zebre on Saturday.

Biarritz, denied even a losing bonus point after an error-strewn display, have five points from their three matches.

Scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili opened the scoring for Biarritz with a penalty after two minutes but Connacht quickly responded.

Biarritz centre Marcelo Bosch's pass was intercepted by Dave McSharry, who offloaded to Vainikolo on his right shoulder for a run to the line. Parks converted for a 7-3 lead.

Both sides were conceding regular penalties, Parks and Yachvili each missing once from the kicking tee before Yachvili was back on target to reduce the French side's deficit to one point.

Parks landed a drop goal in the 23rd minute to edge Connacht clear but they lost No 8 Eoin McKeon to the sin-bin four minutes before half-time after he took out Iain Balshaw in the air.

Yachvili was soon back on his feet to slot his third penalty to take Biarritz to the break trailing 10-9.

Connacht survived the remainder of McKeon's absence without further damage and a quick penalty double from Parks moved the Irish province into a 16-9 lead on 52 minutes.

The home forwards produced some staunch defence during a sustained period of Biarritz pressure and Parks was able to seal the result with a drop goal and penalty inside the last 10 minutes.

Wing Tiernan O'Halloran became the second Connacht player to visit the sin-bin after killing the ball close to his own line and Biarritz skipper Imanol Harinordoquy took advantage shortly after to cross in the left corner from close range.

That gave Yachvili a chance to salvage a losing bonus point with the last kick of the game but his touchline conversion attempt was wayward and the visitors left empty handed.

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European Rugby Champions Cup Table - January 19 2014
Pos Team P Pts
4 Zebre 6 0
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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