Biarritz battle through
Yachvili kicks 14 points in Biarritz victory.
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 10/11/07 5:05pm
Yachvili: 14 points with the boot
Biarritz came from behind to secure a tough 19-11 opening victory against Viadana in Italy in their opening Pool Four tie.
An early try from Steven Bortolussi put Viadana ahead and the Italian side stayed strong in search of a first Heineken Cup victory in their history.
However, their more illustrious French opponents hit back with an Ashwin Willemse try on the stroke of half time.
The game remained close in the second half with now tries but the boot of Yachvili, which yielded 14 points, proved to be the vital difference between the two sides.
Biarritz got the first points on the board in just the second minute when Yachvili was successfully with his first penalty.
It was the home side who crossed the try line first though, with winger Bortolussi going over, but the conversion was missed by fly-half Conradie Pilat.
Yachvili put Biarritz back in front with his second penalty on 13 minutes, but Pilat answered for the Italians on the half-hour mark for an 8-6 lead.
The powerful French outfit got their try in the last minute of the half when their winger Willemse crossed the line, and Yachvili was again spot on to add the extras for a 13-8 lead at half time.
The second half was a tight affair, but Viadana closed the gap to just two points when Pilat sent a penalty sailing between the posts on 63 minutes.
Yachvili kicked his third penalty with 11 minutes to go but the game was still only safe seven minutes before full time when his fourth penalty put Biarritz eight points in front at 19-11.
The score stayed the same until the whistle and Biarritz kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign with a hard-fought victory in Italy.