Gloucester flattened by Ngwenya's Biarritz blitz

Biarritz 42 Gloucester 15

There is no silence, it was once written, like the silence at Kingsholm when the opposition scores. But even the most curmudgeonly of Gloucester supporters could not have failed to salute the hat-trick of tries scored against them in France yesterday by the remarkable Takudzwa Ngwenya in what became another festival of Heineken Cup rugby.

With spring in the sky but an autumn nip in the air, conditions were perfect for running rugby. Biarritz's Australian coach, Jack Isaac, made no bones about it. There had been three training sessions devoted to attack. Defence was deemed to need no further attention. The objective was a win and a bonus point for four tries.

Ayoola Erinle, a former Wasp, was on the bench to allow the nippier Arnaud Mignardi to partner Damien Traille in the centres. The speed of Ngwenya on the right wing was established when the American famously left South Africa's Bryan Habana for dead at the last World Cup.

Biarritz had scraped an away win in Glasgow last week, some resolute defence making up for conceding 70 per cent of the possession. Gloucester had come out on the right side of an even tighter affair at home to the Newport Gwent Dragons. Seventh in the Guinness Premiership and coping with the usual raft of injuries as well as Olivier Azam's suspension, they needed to come out firing.

In the first half-hour, Biarritz looked like a side struggling to sing to the management's new tune. But that man Ngwenya is a natural attacker and he was to bring the game to life. There had been the usual exchange of penalties, between Dimitri Yachvili and Nicky Robinson, and Gloucester could have hoped that they would turn around just 9-3 down at half-time, if they could survive 10 minutes without the flanker Andy Hazell. The whole pack and all of the backs were throwing back everything that Biarritz threw at them. But Traille was running the tactical show in midfield and, while not enjoying a feast of possession, he had more than enough to give the backs a run. The Basque club's forwards were also picking up pace.

Enter Ngwenya, with three minutes left of Hazell's sojourn in the sin-bin. The wing's first run had been stopped by Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, but his second left James Simpson-Daniel grasping air and the full-back, Tom Voyce, could not lay a finger on him.

Yachvili missed that conversion but not the second, on half-time. Ngwenya set off down his right wing, chipped, caught the ball without a break in his stride and scampered round to the posts. His hat-trick try came less than 10 minutes into the second half and the bonus-point try came from Erinle, shortly after he had been sent on to replace Nicolas Brusque. Ngwenya thought he had scored a fourth, from an interception, but the Irish referee, Alan Lewis, brought everyone back for a Gloucester scrum. Biarritz's fifth try was instead scored by their replacement stand-off, Laurent Courrent, with three minutes to go.

For Gloucester, Voyce burrowed over after the pack had been pressing the home line and a similar feat was achieved by Jake Boer, the former club captain who has been brought back from Western Province to bolster Gloucester's depleted playing resources in a time of considerable difficulty.

Isaacs said that Ngwenya's first try had lifted the whole Biarritz side. "They then played with more confidence," he said. "Maybe this match will boost the progress of the last two weeks, but we have a big game against Toulouse next weekend."

Gloucester's coach, Bryan Redpath, said: "We cannot give away soft tries. Defensive errors were to blame. The Gloucester back row played very well, but it is hard to solve individual mistakes, mistakes that are killing us. It is not a team structure sort of thing."

Biarritz M Bosch; T Ngwenya, A Mignardi, D Traille (L Tranier, 68), N Brusque (A Erinle, 59); J Peyrelongue (V Courrent, 53), D Yachvili; F Barcella (E Coetzee, 61), B August (R Terrain, 62), C Johnstone (M Moala, 59), J Thion (capt; M Carizza, 62), P Taele, M Lund (L Wenceslas, 53), I Harinordoquy, S Vahafolau.

Gloucester T Voyce; C Sharples, J Simpson-Daniel, E Fuimaono-Sapolo, L Vainikolo; N Robinson (F Burns, 53), D Lewis (R Lawson, 40); A Dickinson (P Doran-Jones, 51), S Lawson (D Dawiduik, 73), G Somerville, D Attwood, W James, A Qera (J Boer, 53), G Delve (capt), A Hazell.

Referee: A Lewis (Ireland).

sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing