Evans shines in Quins triumph
Paris - Former All Black Nick Evans put in a perfect kicking performance in treacherous, driving rain as Harlequins defeated Biarritz 16-9 on Friday to complete their Heineken Cup (European Cup) group stage with a sixth win in six games.
Quins, who had already made sure of their place in the quarter-finals, failed to gain a winning bonus point, but their Pool 3 tally of 28 points could still make them the top seeds in the knockout phase.
Evans kicked three penalties and converted the game's only try which left Biarritz without a hope of squeezing into the last eight as a best runner-up.
Dimitri Yachvili, the third highest points scorer in the European Cup history, missed an early penalty but was bang on target with a second attempt as the French side edged ahead at a drenched Stade Aguilera.
Evans levelled at the other end before the English champions grabbed the only try of the game.
Hooker Joe Gray threw long at a line-out where No 8 Tom Guest gathered before barging over for a well-worked try which Evans converted.
Both sides ended the half with 14 men after Biarritz lock Wenceslas Lauret and Quins prop Joe Marler were sin-binned for coming to blows as their packs struggled to keep their feet on the swampy, chewed-up surface.
Yachvili dragged the French side back into contention with two early penalties in the second period before Evans kicked a 45-metre penalty which bounced kindly off the crossbar and over for a 13-9 lead just before the hour mark.
Yachvili again went wide with another penalty as the game became an exhausting battle of attrition.
Evans showed him how to do it with another penalty seven minutes from time to seal a well-earned Harlequins win.
In the night's other Pool 3 game, Dan Parks kicked 20 points as Connacht beat Zebre 25-20 with the Italian side ending their campaign with a sixth successive defeat.
Heineken Cup (European Cup) results on Friday, the sixth and final weekend of group games:
Biarritz (FRA) 9 Harlequins (ENG) 16
Connacht (IRL) 25 Zebre (ITA) 20
Castres (FRA) v Ulster (IRL)
Glasgow (SCO) v Northampton (ENG)
Exeter (ENG) v Leinster (IRL)
Scarlets (WAL) v Clermont (FRA)
Cardiff Blues (WAL) v Sale (ENG)
Montpellier (FRA) v Toulon (FRA)
Munster (IRL) v Racing Metro (FRA)
Saracens (ENG) v Edinburgh (SCO)
Leicester (ENG) v Toulouse (FRA)
Treviso (ITA) v Ospreys (WAL)
European Challenge Cup results on Friday:
Agen (FRA) 19 Calvisano (ESP) 9
Played on Thursday:
Newport-Gwent Dragons (WAL) 19 London Wasps (ENG) 20
Perpignan (FRA) 44 Rovigo (ITA) 22
Gloucester (ENG) v Mont de Marsan (FRA)
London Irish (ENG) v Bordeaux-Begles (FRA)
Worcester (ENG) v Bizkaia Gernika (ESP)
Mogliano (ITA) Bayonne (FRA)
Bath (ENG) v Bucharest (ROM)
Cavalieri Prato (ITA) v Grenoble (FRA)
Stade Francais (FRA) v London Welsh (ENG)