High-flying Biarritz ready for Europe
October 5, 2009
Biarritz are flying high this season © Getty Images
Biarritz coach Jean-Michel Gonzalez insists that his side won't take anything for granted ahead of their Heineken Cup opener against Glasgow next weekend.
The Basque outfit have been the form French club in recent weeks and last weekend's decisive 27-12 win over Top 14 Champions Perpignan rocketed the club up into third place in the domestic championship.
"Everything starts from scratch again," said Gonzalez, speaking to Sud Ouest. "We're starting a new competition. Glasgow won away to Cardiff this weekend and they gave a lesson in rugby at Toulouse last year. We won't be taking our foot off the pedal."
Elsewhere Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and ex-Montpellier No.8 Louis Picamoles put in five-star performances as Toulouse shrugged off their recent poor form to beat Montpellier 30-12 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.
Guy Noves' men scored three tries in just 16 minutes in a timely return to form, which is sure to worry next weekend's visitors to Ernest Wallon, Sale Sharks.
Noves paid tribute to Elissalde and returning scrumhalf Byron Kelleher in particular: "There was more control about our game today. When I say that, I pay homage to the whole team but Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and Bryon Kelleher in particular managed the game perfectly."
However the weekend belonged to Stade Francais, who comprehensively dismantled the challenge of Brive at Stade Jean Bouin on Friday night. The Parisians scored five tries, including one from James Haskell in front of the watching England management, prompting club owner Max Guazzini to say to Midi Olympique: "It's been a long time since I was entertained like that. I can't remember the last match that I was blown away by."
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection