Steffon Armitage wins promotion to Biarritz Top 14 with sudden death kick
Former England full-back Steffon Armitage was the toast of Biarritz on Saturday night after his penalty in a penalty shoot-out after a 6-6 draw was decisive in his club’s spectacular victory over his local rivals Bayonne in the Top 14 promotion / relegation qualifiers.
After losing the Pro D2 final last weekend against Perpignan, Biarritz did not miss its second chance for promotion in a historic Basque derby that pitted the beaten second division finalists against the 13th team of the Top 14 .
Biarritz led 3-0 at half-time thanks to a Gilles Bosch penalty but the match was forced into extra time by an equalizer from Maxime Lafage from Bayonne. The stalemate continued into extra time, with James Hart’s penalty for the home side being matched by Gaetan Germain’s response in the 94th minute.
With the final finally ending at six, it was left to a kicking competition where players took kicks from 22 in front of the posts to decide the winner. The ten kicks initially taken were scored, with former All Blacks center Francis Saili getting the last one to force the fight to the sudden death before Bayonne cracked with the eleventh kick of the shootout, with Aymeric Luc sending his shot. of foot away from the target.
This left Biarritz skipper Armitage as the next man and the 35-year-old rower, who has five England caps under his belt, became the hero of the home team, his kick passing between the uprights. to spark crazy celebrations.
I thought about you all the time !! https://t.co/l7BC4U2v6a
– Steffon Armitage (@ Magicsteffo7) June 12, 2021
It didn’t take long for Armitage to revel in the novelty of winning a match in this unusual way. Jordan Crane, the now retired striker, propelled Leicester to the 2009 Heineken Cup final in their Millennium Stadium semi-final against Cardiff when he suffered sudden death in a penalty shootout .
Eleven years later, Crane was quick in posting the Armitage kick video and tweeting, “Welcome to the club.” Armitage replied: “I was thinking about you all the time !!”
RugbyPass Offload EP 33 with Jack Nowell & Freddie Burns?
Very happy to announce @ nowellsy15 as a new panelist on the podcast?
Jack tells us about his return from injury as we are also joined by Freddie Burns fresh from Japan ??
– RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 9, 2021
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