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View Full Version : Biarritz v Bath, HEC Semi Final



An Tarbh
16-04-06, 01:36 AM
The first semi final of the weekend sees the perennial chokers Biarritz take on English powerhouse Bath in this clash at the Anoeta. Bath travel with low expectations but confidence is bound to be high following their sterling defensive effort to thwart the Tigers at the Walkers in the final. Biarritz looked a shadow of themselves in their victory over Sale Sharks in the poorest of the last 8 ties to be played. Unlike previous years their form has not improved steadily throughout the competition so maybe that gives Bath a decent chance of causing an upset in Northern Spain come Saturday evening.

What do the rest of you think? Any chance of an upset or will the French champions cruise through and book their place to Cardiff come May 20.

Boy
16-04-06, 04:50 PM
If Bath can recreate their first half performance from yesterday for the full 80 in San Sebastien, then we're in with a shout. If, however, we recreate our second half performance, when barely saw the ball, we'll be in trouble. Our defence was good yesterday, with Bris only scoring from a loose pass from Nick Walshe, and they were attacking for most of the second half, even against 14 men.

It really depends on the first 20-30 minutes. Biarritz could be out of sight and the crowd could be right behind them, but if we're within a score at half time we'll definately be in with a decent chance of getting to the final.

An Tarbh
16-04-06, 06:58 PM
Biarritz seem to lack that killer instinct which is why I can see Bath coping defensively with them for long periods. A lot will depend on how clinical Bath are when it comes to taking their chances.

Boy
17-04-06, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by An Tarbh@Apr 17 2006, 06:58 AM
Biarritz seem to lack that killer instinct which is why I can see Bath coping defensively with them for long periods. A lot will depend on how clinical Bath are when it comes to taking their chances.
A lot will depend on whether Fuimaono has recovered from his knee injury he aggrevated against Saints last week. He's turned every game he's played in so far. It's a shame Joe Maddock isn't registered for Europe, too, the way he's been playing lately. If we have this backline, we've got a chance:

9. Walshe
10. Barkley
11. Bory
12. Fuimaono
13. Crockett
14. Higgins
15. Stephenson

el_tk
17-04-06, 10:12 PM
I could see this match swinging either way but I feel home advantage will just about se Biarritz through. And if it comes down to a kicking duel I fancy Yachvilli over Barkley.

stormmaster1
18-04-06, 09:02 AM
I'd be surprised to see such a lacklustre performance from Biarritz. I expect them to really go out and attack bath. Now they are the only French team left they will really want to stand up and have their shot at the trophy. I expect them to play well and win by 20. Bath could win in a poor scrappy game, but i don't think Biarritz will play like they did v Sale.

Boy
18-04-06, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by stormmaster1@Apr 18 2006, 09:02 PM
Now they are the only French team left they will really want to stand up and have their shot at the trophy.
... and Bath are the only British team left, so the same should be true of them, surely.

SmokeyMonkey
18-04-06, 10:05 AM
Although I want Biarritz to win a Leinster v Bath final would be very interesting, and I would support Leinster :D

harrison2468
18-04-06, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by SmokeyMonkey@Apr 18 2006, 10:05 AM
Although I want Biarritz to win a Leinster v Bath final would be very interesting, and I would support Leinster :D
Same here! ;)

I reckon Bath should just do what they did for 40mins last week-end, and say f**k it and go on the all out attack from the start. We see too many teams just play it safe, but I just feel that if Bath play conservative rugby, they will get ****ted on by Biaritz.

robbinho
21-04-06, 02:06 PM
Biarritz: Brusque; Gobelet, Bidabe, Traille, Bobo; Peyrelongue, Yachvili; Balan, August (capt), Johnston; Thion, Couzinet; Betsen, Dusautoir, Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Noirot, Lecouls, Olibeau, Carizza, Dupuy, Martin Aramburu, Dambielle.

Bath: Stephenson; Higgins, Crockett, Barkley, Bory; Malone, Walshe; Filise, Mears, Bell, Borthwick (capt), Grewcock, Beattie, Lipman, Feaunati.
Replacements: Dixon, Flatman, Delve, Short, Williams, Finau, Fuimaono.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

http://www.bathrugby.com/images/news/bath-team.jpg

An Tarbh
22-04-06, 07:54 AM
Another interesting facet about this game is that the winner will secure a extra place for their country in next season's HEC.

Boy
22-04-06, 09:04 AM
And if Bath win, then they automatically get England's extra spot, regardless of their league finish. The ERC decided that whoever earns their country's extra qualification place should have it themselves if they haven't qualified already.

Bad news for Sarries and Saints.

An Tarbh
22-04-06, 10:12 AM
I think that's fair enough, they've proved themselves worthy by performing at a higher level.

loratadine
22-04-06, 11:12 AM
lievremonts absent is a massive blow for biarritz, the weather should invite for an open game. i think biarritz may just be too strong in the end

im opting for

biarritz 29
bath 24

Black-Monday
22-04-06, 11:14 AM
I say 7-0 nil to bath. Sorry not how many sin bins.

26-14 - Bath

BM

getofmeland
22-04-06, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Black-Monday@Apr 22 2006, 12:14 PM
I say 7-0 nil to bath. Sorry not how many sin bins.

26-14 - Bath

BM
Just cos Sale hasnt got this far this season in Europe... Bath may not have had the best league run this season but they have played some fantastic rugby in the cup competions, they are actually a team going through a transitional stage, with a new coach who took over in January, and already the affects of this coach have been seen, within the Bath backs and the rest of the team as well... I feel this will be a close match, and that Bath will get the win and be in Cardiff...

Boy
22-04-06, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by loratadine@Apr 22 2006, 11:12 PM
lievremonts absent is a massive blow for biarritz, the weather should invite for an open game. i think biarritz may just be too strong in the end

im opting for

biarritz 29
bath 24
That's eerily close to a dream I had (Biarritz 29 Bath 26). Woke up this morning convinced it had happened.

St Helens RLFC
22-04-06, 03:13 PM
Watching a bit of the second half - where are the ball handling skills?

Good fight by the way - amusing to see that fat bald ******* get pwned by Grewcock. :lol: :lol: :lol:

loratadine
22-04-06, 03:45 PM
yes but grewcock is the biggest c*** in rugby, i wish someone would put the f***ing ugly english thug in his place

and anyways this is rugby not boxing and you dont win matches by smacking someone half the size of you, as the result proved

18-9 biarritz - ha ha ha, im f***ing glad, cos i hate grewcock..... nothing against the bath fans on here, just grewcock on my head.

Boy
22-04-06, 04:07 PM
I've just got back from watching the game at my local, and I'm f***ing livid. Clearly the way to get to the final is to eye gouge (August), block (Harry-ordinary), spear-tackle (Yachvilli) and deliberately knock the ball on (Gobelet).

Not only did we not get any 50-50 calls, but we didn't get any 60-40 ones, let alone 70-30. We had one penalty from the scrum when Filise, Bell and Barnes were ******* all over Campbell, Balan and Lecouls all game. Grewcock got called for sheparding, when Couzinet had done it twice in the previous passage.

If the game had stayed dry, I don't think it's an outrageous claim to say we would have won. We were the only side trying to play rugby in the second half.

If my team contained players as ready to sink to the ground in 'pain' such as Harry-ordinary (who when told to get treatmeant off the pitch suddenly only needed a drink), Balan, August and Couzinet I would be ashamed.

Grewcock waded into the fight because Beattie was getting punched by both Thion (I think) and Balan. I would ask questions of my teammate in a European Semi Final if he didn't dish a few out. Considering August tried to rip his eye out in the first half, I think Grewcock was pretty restrained. Beattie and Thion started the fight, so they should have gone off.

This is carthartic. I'm starting to calm down.

I'm proud of Bath today, as proud as I was at the Walker's Stadium after the quarter-final. We didn't give up or lay down like Sale did. If Biarritz are the best team in Europe (supposedly), then provided Ashton stays put, it won't be long until we're back up there. We pushed them to their limit, and they knew it.

Without the San Sebastien crowd (and it's pressure on the ref), Biarritz will struggle against whoever comes out of tomorrow's Semi.

Final points; Lipman should be on the plane to Australia with England in June. Betsen and 'ordinary certainly didn't dominate any of the Bath backrow; how good is Fuimaono going to be when he's played some more top flight rugby? The guy's only played a handful of high profile games, and he's a different class; if anything proved to the Bath execs that keeping Ashton away from the England job, it was our performance today, and he's not even had the squad for four months. Given a preseason and the less intense Challenge Cup next year, we should be pushing hard for a playoff spot this time next year.

If we keep him.

el_tk
22-04-06, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Boy@Apr 22 2006, 05:07 PM
I've just got back from watching the game at my local, and I'm f***ing livid. Clearly the way to get to the final is to eye gouge (August), block (Harry-ordinary), spear-tackle (Yachvilli) and deliberately knock the ball on (Gobelet).

Not only did we not get any 50-50 calls, but we didn't get any 60-40 ones, let alone 70-30. We had one penalty from the scrum when Filise, Bell and Barnes were ******* all over Campbell, Balan and Lecouls all game.
It's embarassing that one of your players got spear-tackled by Yachvilli.

And how come every time Bath get penalised in the scrum it's because they were ******* all over the opposition front row.

harrison2468
22-04-06, 05:36 PM
Bath did try hard today, but didn't take their chances, whereas Biarritz did, albeit penalties.

That juggle by Malone was very costly, and although Bath tried to play positive, they need a new distributor at 10/12 IMO.

Betsen's trip was bad as well, cheat at the rucks by all means, but don't do it like that; it can ruin careers.

Grewcock's history caught up on him. As it frequently does. Tough cookies really.

Not the great game I anticipated, and Bath will have a tough time securing the HEC place for next season now. I'm hoping for a Leinster-Biarritz final.

Boy
22-04-06, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by el_tk+Apr 23 2006, 05:17 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Boy@Apr 22 2006, 05:07 PM
I&#39;ve just got back from watching the game at my local, and I&#39;m f***ing livid. Clearly the way to get to the final is to eye gouge (August), block (Harry-ordinary), spear-tackle (Yachvilli) and deliberately knock the ball on (Gobelet).

Not only did we not get any 50-50 calls, but we didn&#39;t get any 60-40 ones, let alone 70-30. We had one penalty from the scrum when Filise, Bell and Barnes were ******* all over Campbell, Balan and Lecouls all game.
It&#39;s embarassing that one of your players got spear-tackled by Yachvilli.

And how come every time Bath get penalised in the scrum it&#39;s because they were ******* all over the opposition front row. [/b]
I can&#39;t remember Bath conceding any penalties today from the scrum. Campbell spent most of his time standing up, Balan kept slipping his bindings and Lecouls turned his shoulder in so much that at one scrum Filise didn&#39;t have anything to push against on the initial impact and slid right past him into Betsen.

I&#39;m assuming the &#39;every time&#39; comment is aimed at today&#39;s game and the Leinster match at RDS, when Byrne simply couldn&#39;t handle the pressure and was doing anything he could to stop having his head shoved up his own arse.

Why is it embarassing for a back to be spear tackled by Yachvilli? The guy&#39;s 6&#39; tall, and not exactly frail. It&#39;s not like being speared by Gregan or Stringer. If you get underneath someone and you use their momentum it&#39;s not difficult to lift a guy into the air. It&#39;s then your responsibility to return him safely to the ground, not continue to hold onto his legs while he&#39;s lying on his neck.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41589000/jpg/_41589886_yachvili_get_270.jpg