Blanco still believes in Biarritz
October 31, 2011
Clermont ran riot in their clash with Biarritz at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday © Getty Images
Biarritz president Serge Blanco has reaffirmed his belief that the troubled Basque side can climb the table and challenge for honours this season, despite going down 41-0 at Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.
The former champions remain rooted to the bottom of the Top 14 after a catastrophic start to the season but Blanco believes that will change when Biarritz welcome back their internationals over the next few weeks.
Blanco told Sudouest: "We'll be back to challenge. I have objectives, one of which is to be in the Top 6. Today, even though we conceded 41 points, we will continue to have that objective. We will continue to believe in our chances. For the return phase, we will welcome back a lot of our big names and we will explain it to them.
"We must start again at zero because we've reached zero. [The Clermont match] was almost a Berezina," said Blanco, referring to the disastrous Napoleonic war of 1812.
"I say almost as I knew what to expect in Clermont when we were leaving the internationals and our injured at home."
Meanwhile, Castres coach Laurent Labit could be in trouble with the authorities after reacting angrily to the performance of match referee Patrick Pechambert following Saturday's 23-19 loss to Racing Metro at Pierre Antoine. Labit was particularly incensed by Pechambert's interpretation of the breakdown, calling into question the controversial official's professionalism.
"It's always the same thing," Labit told Midi Olympique. "We work all week long only to fall at the weekend at the hands of people who dabble in professional sport. Even if we didn't play that well, there was someone in the middle of the park who changed the game. Given the weather conditions, the referee could have been a lot stricter in certain areas."
With the majority of their internationals still to return, Toulouse's 18-15 victory over Stade Francais concreted their second place in the Top 14 behind Clermont but Coach Guy Noves was far from happy with his side's performance against the Parisians, reports l'Equipe.
"[Victory] was uncertain for much of the match," grumbled Noves. "We built no consistency. There was a lot of waste at the set piece and with our kicking.
"Stade Francais told us that they would offer a different face compared to the last few matches. They kept their word and were able to outsmart us. It was a bad game and a day that all the same finished with a small victory that could count in the end."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures