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Galway gale bursts Biarritz bubble.

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Galway gale bursts Biarritz bubble. Empty Galway gale bursts Biarritz bubble.

Post by Glas a du Sat 08 Dec 2012, 9:07 pm

Connacht Rugby 22- 14 Biarritz Olympique

That clicking sound you can hear? It's the necks of critics being wound in.

Isn't it funny. I watched the match on Canal + on an Etch-a-sketch, players disappearing between inch square pixels, with French commentary, whilst babysitting; yet this was one of the most enjoyable games I've seen this year.

The famous Sportsground wind played havoc with both sides passing on occasions, but the intermittent scrappiness added to the game as both sides looked to attack or counter attack swiftly when the bouncing ball was collected. French punditry discussed at half time "Le ball chaud" the hot ball. Fantastic.

It was from just such an occasion that Connacht seized on a chance in the opening minutes. As the ball bounced into the hands of their back row a couple of swift take and give passes put Vainikolo clear who raced in to give Connacht a 7-3 advantage they would not relinquish.

Connacht through Parks added three penalties and two drop goals to Yachvilli's two penalties, leaving Biarritz in the last minutes desperate for a seven pointer to secure a losing bonus point.

Aled "Brroo" Brew came exceptionally close, a very tight touch called. For the first time Biarritz seemed determined to get something from this game and they eventually did.

Harinordoquy, a second half introduction, had picked a fight on the excellent Connacht scrum half Kieran Marmion, sparked a 30 man 'handbags' session and came off second best. But it shook his team up and it was Immanol himself who grounded in the corner, according to the TMO (and hardly anybody else) to take his side to the cusp of a point. The exceptionally talented Yachvilli saw that wind get hold of the conversion attempt and push the ball to the corner flag. The final score was 22-14 to Connacht.

It wasn't all plain sailing though. In the first half Parks had been using the wind to pin Biarritz back. One Garryowen saw number 8 McKeon clumsily clatter Yachvilli. The referee saw intent, Yachvilli the chance for a rest as he lay there apparently sparked out. McKeon saw yellow and just about arrived at his seat to see Yachvilli kick a penalty to bring the half time score to 10-9. Connacht fans will be forgiven, by this correspondent at least, if they claim the missed conversion was poetic justice for this earlier incident. Not that they would, their philosophical magnanimity would not allow it.

Biarritz further rode their luck as with the last action of the first half speedster Ngwenya had to field a bouncing ball on his own line under pressure and mishandled spectacularly, the ball travelling almost 15 yards into touch. I've seen penalties and yellow cards for such play but the referee just blew up for half time.

It was edge of the seat stuff. Both kickers missed a number of kicks and Connacht failed to take two or three try scoring chances, one a top drawer cross kick by Dan Parks (who looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself within the Connacht game plan) that the winger just failed to gather and flop over the line.

Biarritz were not at their best and failed to punish the wasted chances, but Connacht's brand of tidy phase play, intelligent kicking, defensive pressure and explosive counter attack took full advantage of the fact and they were excellent value for this historic win.

The Sportsground, Galway.

Connacht: Henshaw, O'Halloran, Poolman, McSharry, Vainikolo, Parks, Marmion, Wilkinson, Harris-Wright, Loughney, Kearney, McCarthy, Browne, Faloon, McKeon.

Biarritz: Balshaw, Ngwenya, Gimenez, Bosch, Brew, Berquist, Yachvili, Barcella, August, Gomez Kodela, E. Lund, Dubarry, Lauret, Guyot, Lakafia.

Att: 8,000

Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)

http://v2journal.com/galway-gale-bursts-biarritz-bubble.html
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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 09 Dec 2012, 12:45 am

Didn't see the game, but sounds like it was enjoyable. You've made me want to download it and have a watch. Nicely written article glas thumbsup
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Post by maestegmafia Sun 09 Dec 2012, 12:48 am

A great night for Connacht... So happy to see them do so well.

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Post by Golden Sun 09 Dec 2012, 12:50 am

How did Henshaw get on?

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Post by Morgannwg Sun 09 Dec 2012, 1:23 am

clap
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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 09 Dec 2012, 2:07 am

Fantastic result, thanks Connacht
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Post by Ozzy3213 Sun 09 Dec 2012, 2:36 am

Golden wrote:How did Henshaw get on?

Played very well. Always looked dangerous ball in hand and gave a mature, composed performance. McSharry was the standout back though. Rock solid defence and gave them a focal point in attack. Looks a terrific player.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 09 Dec 2012, 2:41 am

Leinster are going to come calling for McSharry. We really need a 12 like him.

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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 09 Dec 2012, 2:59 am

And we're gonna take McCarthy too. Mwahahaha
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Sun 09 Dec 2012, 2:59 am

We shouldn't get him,let Connacht keep the players they bring through.They are building something out west and have to be given every chance to see it through.

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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 09 Dec 2012, 4:42 am

Mwahahahaha
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 09 Dec 2012, 4:50 am

McCarthy will stay. We actually need McSharry.. Badly. We can let Goodman return home and then McSharry would be actually starting for us. We could do a trade. Fionn plus another player (maybe Gilsenan? ) .Connacht need a few good backrowers as O'connor doesn't have long left. Although young McKeown had a great game.

Of course its only if he wants to come to Leinster. If he wants to stay with Connacht, Im happy with that.

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Post by Intotouch Sun 09 Dec 2012, 7:11 am

This loss has stunned the French fans and players. Harinordoquy described the loss as "catastrophic" and the fans are talking about the end of an era and a possible fall to the pro d2. Overly dramatic if you ask me but because of all this the return fixture will see enormous pressure on Biarritz which can only help Connacht. Can't wait to see it!

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Post by Golden Sun 09 Dec 2012, 7:18 am

Didnt Aironi beat Biarritz a couple of seasons ago? Which was one of only 6 wins for the team. Surely the French dont see this as worse than that result?
Are Connacht thought of that poorly?

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