Quins make it six out of six
19 Jan 2013
Harlequins have gone unbeaten in the European Cup pool stage with a 19-6 win over Biarritz 9-16 at Parc des Sports Aguilera.
Biarritz 9 (3) Harlequins 16 (10)
Former All Black Nick Evans put in a perfect kicking performance in treacherous, driving rain to complete Quins’ sixth win in six games, and their tally of 28 points could still make them the top seeds in the knockout phase.
Biarritz are left without a hope of squeezing into the last eight as a best runner-up.
Both sides ended the first half with 14 men after Biarritz lock Wenceslas Lauret and Quins prop Joe Marler were sin-binned for coming to blows as their packs struggled to keep their feet on the slippery surface.
Yachvili put the French side back into contention with two early second-half penalties before Evans kicked a 45m penalty via the aid of the crossbar for a 13-9 lead just before the hour mark.
In a fairly brutal arm wrestle in tough conditions, Evans slotted another penalty seven minutes from time to seal a well-earned Harlequins win.
Biarritz – Penalties: Dimitri Yachvili (3)
Harlequins - Try: Tom Guest. Conversion: Nick Evans. Penalties: Evans (3)
Connacht 25 (12) Zebre 20 (6)
In Galway, Connacht finished their European campaign on a high. Zebre gave as good as they got and overturned a 13-point deficit to lead 20-19 with 12 minutes remaining but Connacht kept their composure to stop the debutants from registering a maiden triumph.
Zebre took the lead after 68 minutes via an Australian Daniel Halangahu penalty, but their one-point advantage was shortlived as a 40m effort from Scot Dan Parks pushed Connacht back in front three minutes later.
A second drop goal from Parks sealed the win, meaning Connacht finished just three points shy of second-placed Biarritz in Pool 3.
Connacht - Try: Penalty try. Conversion: Dan Parks. Penalties: Parks (4). Drop goals: Parks (2)
Zebre – Try: Ruggero Trevisan. Penalties: Daniel Halangahu (5)
European Cup fixtures this weekend:
14:45 Munster vs Racing Metro 92, Thomond Park
14:45 Saracens vs Edinburgh, Vicarage Road
17:00 Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys, Stadio Comunale di Monigo
17:00 Leicester vs Toulouse, Welford Road