Cordero strikes late for crucial away win
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: A remarkable 74th minute try from Argentine wing Santiago Cordero gave Bordeaux-Begles a pivotal away success in the opening Champions Cup match of the season.
They defeated Northampton Saints 16-12 at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday.
Cordero reacted quickest from a Matthieu Jalibert penalty kick that hit the post, deflecting back into play and bouncing into the path of the Bordeaux wing who crossed the whitewash for the match-winning try.
Northampton dominated the early proceedings and raced into a six-point lead as pressure led to penalties for the hosts, with Dan Biggar slotting over two in the opening 15 minutes.
Ben Botica would hit back for the visitors, having already missed an early kick but this time pounced on the Northampton error as they went off feet at the breakdown.
It was soon a six-point lead again as Bordeaux were penalised for a high tackle inside their own 22, allowing Biggar to call for the tee and slot over his third penalty of the evening.
Bordeaux then started to inch into the match and would end up level at the break as the French side’s scrum managed to win a crucial penalty just before the break, allowing Botica to sweep over from out wide.
Northampton again managed to get on top in the opening stages of the second period, with Biggar kicking Saints ahead on 45 minutes but despite Bordeaux being a man light due to a Cameron Woki yellow card, the score remained 12-9.
It was still a three-point gap when Bordeaux were again reduced to 14, with Maxime Lucu being penalised for foul play on 65 minutes but the visitors then dealt a huge blow with six minutes left in the match.
Replacement flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert hit a penalty kick off the post but it was Santiago Cordero who was the first man to react, collecting after an awkward Northampton bounce and dived over for a huge try.
Jalibert – who inadvertently set up the opening try – then slotted over the conversion with ease.
That would be the final action of note as Bordeaux were able to smuggle the ball into touch for a priceless away success in Europe. The French side takes on Dragons in Round 2, whilst Northampton travels to Dublin to face Leinster.
For Northampton Saints
Pens: Botica 3
Yellow card: Camerin Woki (Bordeaux-Begles, 47), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Begles, 64)
Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Shaun Adendorff, 7 Tom Wood (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 JJ Tonks, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Ryan Olowofela.
Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Mahamadou Diaby (captain), 6 Cameron Woki, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Maxime Lamothe, 1 Thierry Paiva.
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Lekso Kaulashvili, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Jandré Marais, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Pablo Uberti.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), Rob Warburton (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England) 19.30)