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."
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker