Champion Wasps too strong for Biarritz

25th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Oct 24 (AFP) - European Cup champions Wasps started the defence of their title with a 25-12 victory over French visitors Biarritz at the Causeway Stadium, north of London, on Sunday.

LONDON, Oct 24 (AFP) - European Cup champions Wasps started the defence of their title with a 25-12 victory over French visitors Biarritz at the Causeway Stadium, north of London, on Sunday.

Biarritz were 12-9 ahead at half-time thanks to three penalties from France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili and a drop goal from Test centre Damien Traille.

But English champions Wasps scored 16 unanswered points in the second half of this Pool One encounter.

Full back Mark van Gisbergen kicked four penalties and also converted England back-row Joe Worsley's try late in the match with fly-half Alex King landing two drop goals.

Biarritz's pack was in dominating form during the opening 40 minutes with Wasps restricted to two van Gisbergen penalties and a King drop goal.

But Wasps were a refreshed team in the second period, reducing their handling errors and gaining territory.

Nine points in eight minutes thanks to two more Van Gisbergen penalties and another King drop goal put Wasps in charge.

Then Biarritz saw France flanker Serge Betsen sent to the sin bin on the hour mark and five minutes later his opposite number Worsley powered over for the game's only try.

In the day's other match, England wing Ben Cohen's try proved the decisive score as Northampton ground out a 13-9 win away to a determined Glasgow.

On a sodden, heavy pitch, Cohen struck with barely two minutes on the clock after good work by prop Chris Budgen who powered clear.

Budgen passed to Marc Stcherbina who in turn released Cohen. Shane Drahm converted for the 2000 European champions to make it 7-0.

But Glasgow fought back thanks to two Dan Parks' penalties and were only 7-6 down at half-time.

Both sides struggled in the second half before Drahm's penalty stretched the Saints lead in this Pool Three clash.

Parks cut the deficit to four points with his third penalty to give Glasgow hope but that was as close as they got.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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