Aironi shock Biarritz
Italian newcomers lower colours of last year's runners-up
Last Updated: 11/12/10 4:07pm
Laharrague: Late drop-goal
A last-gasp drop-goal by Julien Laharrague handed Aironi a shock 28-27 Heineken Cup victory over Biarritz on Saturday.
The Italian newcomers produced a thrilling fightback at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella after Biarritz had threatened to run away with the game in the first half.
Last year's runners-up piled on the pressure from the outset, forcing Aironi into some desperate early defence, which resulted in a penalty try.
Biarritz granned a second try on the 15-minute mark through Takudzwa Ngwenya but Two Tito Tebaldi penalties kept Aironi in touch.
James Marshall then set the place alight with a try before former England full-back Iain Balshaw restored the cushion after half-time.
And when Biarritz seemed to relax, Nick Williams capitalised on some good work up front to score for the Italian hosts.
Tebaldi made no mistake with the conversion to edge Aironi into an 18-17 lead before Charles Gimenez muscled over for Biarritz on the hour.
But Aironi hit back almost immediately, Matteo Pratichetti's touching down and Tebali converting to regain their lead.
Dimitri Yachvili's penalty eight minutes from time looked to have sealed the win for the visitors, but the match swung again with Laharrague's dramatic 78th-minute drop-goal.