Soul-searching at defeated Biarritz ahead of rematch with Connacht
Following a nightmare evening in Galway, Biarritz seem to be in turmoil ahead of this week’s return match against Connacht. Club president Serge Blanco had already criticised the team’s recent performances ahead of the trip to Ireland. And it can only be assumed that another error-filled display in Europe will have done little to improve his mood.
Blanco has been unusually reserved since the defeat, but France’s record try scorer confirmed to Midi Olympique on Sunday that he would be reviewing the situation. “It would be useless to act in haste,” said Blanco. “I’m going to see everyone this week. We’re going to see each other, yes, and talk.”
Blanco does not like to dismiss coaches mid-season but the feeling is that Jack Isaac and Serge Milhas – who reportedly had an hour-long meeting with the Biarritz president yesterday – will not last the current term. After starting the season with four wins from four in the French Top 14, Biarritz’s domestic form has dipped alarmingly since then.
“Terminus à Galway” was how L’Equipe summed up Biarritz’s chances of qualifying, and a disgusted Imanol Harinordoquy agreed. After picking up just five points in three matches, the club captain said their hopes of reaching the knockout stages were “finished.” While also praising Connacht’s performance, he lamented the “debutants” errors his team had made.
Perhaps more damning was the assessment of scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili. “The orders were to play the ball, to keep possession for as long as we could, to try to put them in difficulty,” he said. “On the field, we only implemented the orders we were given.”
If the suggestion is that the coaching staff have lost the dressing room, Yachvili’s analysis was not a vote of confidence.