Watch: Steffon Armitage slots the match winning kick for Biarritz in a penalty shootout

Watch: Steffon Armitage slots the match winning kick for Biarritz in a penalty shootout

Not since the 2009 Champions Cup semi-final between Leicester Tigers and Cardiff has a top-flight European match or any top-flight match gone to a penalty shootout.

However, on Saturday that all changed as the Access Match between Biarritz and Bayonne was still scoreless at 6 points apiece after extra time. 

The two sides were battling it out to see who would take the final spot in the Top 14 next season following the relegation of Agen and promotion of Perpignan last week.

The Basque derby has produced some stellar encounters in the past and Saturday's clash was no different as both sides were clamped down in defence and produced an enticing encounter with nothing splitting the pair after 100 minutes of rugby.

With the sides level 6-6 after extra time, the game would be decided through a penalty shoot-out, a real rarity in rugby. Again there wasn't much splitting the two sides as both sides slotted their first six shots at goal.

Bayonne winger Aymeric Luc was the first to miss and with the chance to win it with a sudden death kick, former England flanker Steffon Armitage stepped up and sealed Biarritz's Top 14 status for next season. 

The 35-year-old put in a stellar 100-minute shift for Biarritz captaining the side in a sunny 36-degree day in Biarritz and slotted his shot at goal before the ground charged onto the pitch.

While penalty shootouts in rugby are a rarity, this is not the first one to occur. As mentioned before, Leicester Tigers booked their place in the 2009 Champions Cup final through a shoot out against Cardiff while South Africa's U-21 Varsity Cup produced one in 2014.

There have since been other shootouts: Italy Under 18 vs Georgia Under 18 and Ireland Under 18 vs Georgia Under 18. As well as the Wales and Argentina penalty shootout in 2010.


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