Wednesday, December 15, 2010
One of the biggest upsets of the weekend, and perhaps the season, happened on Saturday in a Heineken Cup Pool 4 game as Aironi produced a dramatic 28-27 win over last seasons finalists, Biarritz.
Italian side Aironi have done well since joining the Magners League, putting in some impressive performances at home, and now having come up with a Heineken Cup scalp of top French side.
A drop goal from fullback Julien Laharrague with time almost up ensured that they snatched the win after a hard fought game, with Italy coach Nick Mallet watching on from the stands.
Biarritz did score four tries and came within seven points so they left with two losing bonus points, but will have been disappointed to go down to a less fancied side. For the home side though, it was a great achievement and showed that theyre making good progress.
"It was a huge win for us on two fronts. It was the first win of the season for the club and now we can look forward with real confidence," said Marco Bortolami.
"Secondly, we proved ourselves against last seasons Heineken Cup finalists and that is huge for us. We proved that we have quality and that we can play and it brings the self belief back into the team."
Bortolami attributes the new standard of play to coach Rowland Phillips.
"In just a few weeks Rowland has really turned things around here," he said of the former Welsh flanker. "His personality, his coaching technique and the way he approaches things come across very well and we all really respect him.
"I come from playing in England with the British mentality to training and playing and now Rowland is bringing this to the club and all the players are right behind it.
"I think you can see from our recent performances especially this last weekend just what he was brought to the team," he said.
These highlights are in Italian, so most of you wont understand but there are some great moments that make it worth watching, none more so than the exciting finish and reactions of the players after sealing the big win.